Shake Shop, the monthly show presented by Korea Gig Guide and Hapjeong’s Dream Dance Studio, is starting off 2014 with a great bill that will have Rux, Love X Stereo, and The Greatest Voyage all collaborating with bellydancers Eshe and Navah on Friday (January 24) at Club Freebird in Hongdae.
One of the most respected and influential acts in Seoul’s punk scene, Rux have been a band that Shake Shop creator Eshe has wanted to work with since the concert series’ February 2013 inception. This month she finally gets her wish as the quartet will close out Shake Shop on Friday night. The performance will be their first show since guitarist Lee Hyun-hee was seriously injured in a workplace accident in November.
“Hyun-hee works in the kitchen at a Japanese okonomiyaki restaurant,” says vocalist Won Jong-hee. “One of his co-workers accidentally dropped a canister of butane gas into a big deep fryer and the hot oil from the fryer exploded all over the kitchen. Luckily, no one was killed. However, three people in the kitchen got burned very badly. Hyun-hee had to stay in the hospital for a month because of his burns. He’s still recovering from the burns on his legs, but he’s strong enough to play gigs again.”
It has been over two-and-a-half years since the group issued their “5000 Years of Hallucinations” EP and nearly five years since they put out their 2009 “The Eternal Kids” full-length effort. Rux fans who have eagerly been waiting for new music will be happy to know that the group are in the midst of recording a new album and hope to have it out in early summer.
Friday night will be Rux’s first time to work with bellydancers. Won says the band are not exactly sure how the collaboration will turn out but are looking forward to seeing how things develop.
“It’s going to be a very interesting night,” says Won. “I still can’t picture what it’s going to be like it. But I guess it’s going to be a pretty cool sight. As long as we enjoy Eshe’s and Navah’s dancing, and the audience enjoys our music, I’m pretty sure everyone will have a lot of fun.”
Fast-rising Love X Stereo embarked on their first North American tour last autumn in support of their “Glow” EP to play at the renowned CMJ Music Marathon in New York. The electro-rock act will be returning stateside in March for another tour. This time around they will hit the road with Glen Check and Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio as part of Seoulsonic and their itinerary will include a stop at Austin, Texas’ massive South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival.
“Our tour in the fall was so cool,” gushes vocalist and synthesizer player Annie Ko. “It definitely exceeded our expectations. The fans everywhere we went were really supportive. It was amazing to meet so many people who were interested in our music. And the sound quality everywhere we went was really good. No matter how small or narrow a venue was, the sound guys knew what they were doing and made us sound great. We were impressed. We were very pleased with the tour and can’t wait to go back to the US this spring.”
Love X Stereo previously performed at Shake Shop last May. They really enjoyed themselves at the gig and gladly accepted the invitation to appear at this month’s event.
“We were on cloud nine during that show,” says Ko. “Lots of beautiful ladies danced in front of us while we played. It was pretty awesome to see. And it’s pretty unique, isn’t it? Most bands or musicians have backup dancers, not ‘front up’ dancers. So in that way, we could also enjoy the show as an ‘audience.’ It was a really rare experience for us, which is why we we’re thrilled to play Shake Shop again.”
The Greatest Voyage is fronted by No. 1 Korean’s vocalist Kwon Milk. Kwon Milk originally planned to do some solo music as a side project from his main gig in the ska group No. 1 Korean. He released an excellent album under his own name in May 2010 called “The Greatest Voyage.” While gigging in support of that album with backing players, The Greatest Voyage became a proper band.
The act play really cool folk and rock compositions that are accented with bits of blues and country. As The Greatest Voyage, they’ve released an EP (2011’s “The Commuter Blues”) and a handful of singles. They are currently working on The Greatest Voyage’s debut full-length offering.
“We’re planning to release our first album as The Greatest Voyage this year,” shares Kwon Milk. “We’ve got around 30 songs right now and we’re deciding which direction we want to take with the album and what tracks to use. I think it may have a bit more of a rock feel than our previous work.”
Like Rux and Love X Stereo, The Greatest Voyage are happy to be teaming up with bellydancers Eshe and Navah for this weekend’s Shake Shop.
“We’re really excited for the Shake Shop show,” says Kwon Milk. “We want to see how our music crosses boundaries and what new areas it can go to.”
Shake Shop Vol. 11 takes place on Friday, January 24 at Club Freebird. The show starts at 8:30 pm and the cover charge is 15,000 won with one free drink. Eshe and Navah will perform alongside Rux, Love X Stereo, and The Greatest Voyage. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event page here.
Here are the estimated set times for Friday’s show:
8:30 The Greatest Voyage
9:40 Love X Stereo