‘Tis Better to Reign in Skunk Hell Than Serve in K-Pop Heaven

Not a lot listed on the Gig Guide this weekend. Sorry about that, but the club managers in Hongdae seem to be recovering from the holidays rather slowly. Hopefully we will be able to build up the calendar soon though.

In the meantime, there is definitely one big show you need to be aware of this weekend — the last Skunk Hell concert. Saturday evening at Skunk Hell should be Rux, Vassline, Crying Nut, Suck Stuff, and GoGo Star … for free! Show is supposed to go from 6pm to 10pm.

Skunk Hell is, of course, just about the most important venue in Korea. For years the location was the home of Drug Club, the first major punk club on the peninsula. Crying Nut got their start there, as did a lot of other good bands. My personal favorite, Saebomae Pin Dalgikkot, had their first Seoul shows there.

When I first went there back in 1998, you could still see the faint outlines of the cafe the club originally was. But week by week, the aggressive entropy of the local punk scene caused the minimalist, grubby space to grow ever more minimalist and grubby. Walls got torn down, the bar ripped out. It was like watching the time-lapse film of a rabbit decomposing.

After several years, Drug moved out and become DGBD, while the burgeoning punk group Skunk Hell moved in. I only went to a couple of shows after the handover, in part because I am no punk fan. But I always appreciated knowing that such a club existed.

Today, there are many more venues where you can catch live shows, punk and whatever genre. And I am sure some other venue will rise up to fill the void left by Skunk. But I still appreciate the important role that Drug/Skunk played in developing the local scene.

I have no idea what, if anything, will actually fill the physical space of Skunk Hell. I hope it will not be yet another coffee shop.

2 thoughts on “‘Tis Better to Reign in Skunk Hell Than Serve in K-Pop Heaven

  1. The show was a huge mess. It filled with a record number of people and it was impossible to get in or out. I couldn’t believe how many people came out for a free show. Thankfully the crowd thinned a bit after Crying Nut played.

    Anyway, my money’s on it becoming a shoe store.

  2. Sounds like an evening that, on paper at least, should have been fantastic. Crying Nut were huge fun when they played in London a couple of years ago.

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