Monthly Archives: August 2014

Patients Play Rooftop Gig Tonight Before September Taiwan Tour

Self-dubbed “hybrid punk” act Patients will be playing tonight (August 23) in Hongdae at Steel Face Rooftop 3639.  The show will serve as a warm up of sorts for the Seoul trio’s September Taiwan tour.

Patients 2

Patients have been invited to play at Taipei’s Beastie Rock Festival on September 13 and will be playing a few club gigs as well during their time in Taiwan.  This is the group’s second overseas jaunt of the year.  In May, they traveled to the UK to perform at Liverpool Sound City, WTFest, and do a handful of other shows too.

The band started in 2005 and their current lineup includes bassist and vocalist Sumin Jo, keyboardist Hyuckjang Kwon, and drummer Jaehyuk Lee.  In 2010, Jo established the Seoul indie imprint Steel Face Records (which also runs the rooftop live space Steel Face Rooftop 3639).  Patients released their “Kitsch Space” full-length debut in 2011 through Steel Face Records and competed in that year’s Hello Rookie finals.  Just prior to their spring UK dates, Patients released a four-song tour EP called “Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!”  Their first recording with Kwon, his keyboard playing adds more diversity to the group’s catchy mix of punk, new wave, and pop.

Patients -- Let's Drive, Let's Go! Cover

Jo took a few minutes to answer some questions for Korea Gig Guide about Patients’ experiences in the UK and their upcoming Taiwan trip.

How did your UK tour in May go?

It was great!  We’re really happy with the way things went.  Our expectations were definitely exceeded.  We got the chance to play at some very cool festivals and do a few club gigs too.  We even did a house show and got to play in a kitchen.  That was definitely a unique experience!  We met some great bands, promoters, and music lovers.  And we were able to make some new friends too.  We’re hoping to return back to the UK for more concerts in May 2015.

What are some of your best memories from that tour?

The whole tour was very special to us and was filled with so many great memories.  But two of my favorite parts were Liverpool Sound City and the last show of our tour at Astbury Castle in London.  During Liverpool Sound City, we visited many clubs in the city and got to see lots of different bands play.  It was cool to get to see so many unique venues and check out music from all around the world.  The Astbury Castle show was a house concert.  It was really wild and was so much fun.  People were crowd surfing in the kitchen!  Lots of the friends we had made in the UK came to Astbury Castle too which made the night more special for us.

Why are you excited about playing in Taiwan in September?

Patients are gig addicts!  We love to play shows.  And we’re really eager to experience the music scenes in many other countries.  We’re hoping to make as many awesome tours as we can.  We’ve never been to Taiwan but have heard good things about Beastie Rock and music fans there.  It’s going to be fun to perform and meet new bands and people in Taiwan.

Is there anything you want to see or do in Taiwan when you’re not playing?

On this tour, we’re going to play in Taipei, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.  I’d like to check out Taipei at night and visit some places with great views of all three cities.  Since this will be our first time visiting Taiwan, we’re now doing some research about different places to check out.  If anyone has any tips, please let us know!

Why have you decided to make more of an international push this year with Patients?

We’ve already played many gigs in Seoul.  So we’re excited about the experiences and challenges that come from playing concerts in new places.  And being able to meet music fans and musicians from other countries is always a lot of fun.  We’re hoping to meet as many people from all around the world as we can.

What countries do you hope to take Patients to next?

As I mentioned before, we want to go back to the US next spring.  We’re talking about possibly going to the US and Japan in 2015 too.  But nothing has been confirmed yet.  We’re happy to go anywhere in the world we can.  If we can play somewhere new, we want to go there!

When do you hope to release your next full-length album?

We’re going to start recording a new album soon and hope to release it in the first half of 2015 through Steel Face Records.  We’re aiming to have 10 songs on the new album.  The four songs from our tour EP will be re-recorded for the album.  We love the original versions of the tracks, but for fun we want to add some new stuff to them.

On Saturday night, you’ll play at Steel Face Rooftop 3639 with Dead Buttons and The Veggers.  What can people expect from the concert?

We’re touring in Taiwan in September and Dead Buttons will play in Russia at the end of August.  So people can see us both play before we head overseas.  Along with The Veggers, we’re hoping to share respect, love, and friendship with the audience through some loud and fun music.

Patients Poster

Here are Patients’ Taiwan tour dates:
September 10 Tainan @ TCRC
September 11 Kaohsiung @ Paramount Bar
September 13 Taipei @ Beastie Rock Festival

Tonight’s show at Steel Face Rooftop 3639 starts at 8 pm. Patients, Dead Buttons, and The Veggers will all perform. Tickets are 15,000 won with one free drink. For more information about the concert, check out the Facebook event page here.

Review of the 2014 Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

On August 2, I headed out to Penta Park in Songdo, Incheon, to see day two of the ninth annual Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival. Having been to Pentaport at both of its previous locations, I was keen to see if the new site justified the travel (about two hours from Apgujeong on the subway).

photo courtesy of Pentaport
(photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival)

Arriving at International Business District Station, I exited the station to the sounds of the festival, and after a short walk, finally arrived for my fifth Pentaport.  I was impressed by the grounds.  Whilst Penta Park may lack the vibrant natural setting of other festival sites, Pentaport was well thought out.  All the stages were close together with a nice camping area around the outskirts.  There was also a sizable food area and an excellent wide space set up for the main stage.  Each zone also managed to have its own unique atmosphere.

With regards to the music, I caught the tail end of Japan’s Orange Range’s energetic and engaging set on the Pentaport Stage.  The Mimi Sisters were charming the Moonlight Stage as I headed to the Reggae Zone for the first of the day’s surprises, Acollective.  Despite a few sound issues, the seven-piece group from Israel wowed a small but enthusiastic crowd with their unique sound and charismatic performance.  Describing themselves as a mix of “boogied-folk, electronic-jazz and a Middle Eastern-bluesy twang,” the group displayed many different sounds and influences, but still sounded cohesive and familiar.  This is an act that I definitely hope comes back to Korea.

Next up was The Inspector Cluzo on the roofed Dream Stage, and despite having high expectations, they absolutely blew me away. This two-piece French rock outfit take the basic idea of a band like the White Stripes or the Black Keys, and add loads of French charm, humor, and even a dash of house and lounge music into an otherwise loud, raucous show. Walking onto the stage dressed like a million dollars, drummer Phil Jourdain and guitarist/vocalist Malcom Lacrouts riled the crowd up before launching into their excellent set. They thanked their local fans, stating that it was in Korea (and Japan) where they first became popular, and finished things by reducing the drum kit mid-song, one piece at a time, without skipping a beat, until finally just the kick and snare remained. The Inspector Cluzo left the stage with many new fans and promised to return to Korea again.

I headed back to the Pentaport Stage for Boys Like Girls, who, whilst not being my cup of tea, worked the sizable crowd well.  Apparently this was their first show in over a year, and they ran out of songs so they finished by playing their hit “The Great Escape” a second time. I hung around for Idiotape, and having seen them in clubs, was eager to see how they were received on the main stage at such a large rock festival. I needn’t have worried; they swiftly proved that they deserved their spot.  A tight set, electrifying visuals, a wonderful sunset, and some fun camera work of the dancing crowd made it an amazing performance.

Kasabian photo courtesy of Pentaport
Kasabian (photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival)

I popped back to the Dream Stage to check out The Horrors, but I found them a little downbeat and headed back to the main stage for Kasabian. I first became a fan of Kasabian after seeing them at Pentaport in 2008, and love their latest album “48:13.”  The band stormed onstage to loud applause with “Bumblebee” and had the crowd eating out of their palms. Next came “Shoot the Runner,” albeit with a little Kanye West thrown in, and for the next 90 minutes it was hit after hit for the Pentaport audience.  There were a few little surprises and it was great to hear “Doberman.”  They played a mix of songs from all five albums with a few covers and samples thrown in.  For me, it was an absolutely stomping set, delivered by a band at the peak of their popularity, and a great end to the day. They were worthy headliners and the crowd seemed to really enjoy all that they did.

After my ride home fell threw, I tried to get a shuttle bus home.  But the buses were sold out, which was frustrating, as at 15,000 won it seemed like it wouldn’t have costed the organizers very much to have more buses on hand.  So instead I literally ran for the subway, and made it halfway home before the trains finished and I had to take a taxi the rest of the way.  But this was my only complaint about an otherwise awesome day.  I look forward to next year when Pentaport celebrates its tenth anniversary!

(photo courtesy of Pentaport)
(photo courtesy of the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival)



Bands, Bellydancers, and Barbecue for Steel Shop

Korea Gig Guide has been co-presenting the Shake Shop concert series with Dream Dance Studio for the last year-and-a-half.  Each month, the Shake Shop shows see bellydancers Eshe and Navah collaborating with three Seoul indie bands at Club Freebird.

Wanting to do something a little different for August’s event, Saturday night (August 16) will see the bellydancers working with three bands from Steel Face Records’ roster. Calling the pairing Steel Shop, the concert will take place atop of the Hongdae rooftop live space run by Steel Face Records, Steel Face Rooftop 3639. When the gig finishes, there will be a free barbecue for all attendees.

Steel Face Records

Steel Shop will see Eshe and Navah performing alongside Patients, Bad Trip, and Dives. Punk act Dives was formed in 2012 by Korean fashion model Heynam Sin. She plays bass and handles lead vocals in the group, Soobin Lee is the guitarist, and Junghee Lee drums. The up-and-coming trio finished recording their first EP in July. The disc will come out in the coming months through Steel Face Records. Dives will be previewing cuts from the EP at Steel Shop.


Sin took a few minutes to answer some questions about Dives and Steel Shop for Korea Gig Guide.

Why did you want to start Dives?
I’ve loved punk music since I was a teenager.  I enjoyed going to punk gigs and soon after started to learn how to play music.  From there, I decided to start a band.  It was all a really natural process.

Why are Dives excited about playing at Steel Shop?
The ground in Hongdae is a crazy place with so many people which makes playing high above the crowds on Steel Face Rooftop 3639 a lot of fun.  It’s a really cool space and gigs there are always fun.  For this show, we’re going to be working with sexy bellydancers too which will make the whole night even more wild and exciting!

Please tell us about your new EP.
Our new EP was recorded this spring and summer and has five songs on it.  The songs are being mixed now.  We had a lot of fun making the songs.  We’re excited that they will come out soon!

What’s more fun, being in a punk band or being a fashion model?
Playing in a punk band and modeling are both the most interesting things to me.  I can’t choose which one is more fun to do.  Music and fashion are like good friends.  They help make things a lot more fun for each other!

Eshe and Navah worked with Bad Trip earlier this year as part of Shake Shop.  Here’s a live video from their collaboration to give everyone an idea of what to expect at Steel Shop.

Steel Shop takes place on Saturday, August 16 at Steel Face Records 3639.  The show starts at 8:30 pm and tickets are 15,000 won.  Dives, Bad Trip, and Patients will all perform with bellydancers Eshe and Navah.  There will be a free barbecue for show-goers after the concert.  For more information, check out the Facebook event page here.

Directions to Steel Face Rooftop 3639: Go out Sangsu Station (Line 6) Exit 1 and walk towards Hongik University.  When you get to the Vans store, walk across the intersection and then turn left. Walk down the street.  Steel Face Rooftop 3639 is on top of the building that’s directly across the street from Gold I and Gold II.

Steel Shop Poster

The Business trip to Korea

Remember that time that classic UK punk band came to Korea for a show? No? Oh right, probably because this is the first time this has ever happened.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Business concluded their tour of Japan and flew to Korea for their August 15 show.

“I’ve been to Japan before, but not South Korea, the Business vocalist and last remaining original member Mickey Fitz told Dave Hazzan in an interview for Broke in Korea. It’s one of those places that you – I wouldn’t say never considered going to – but it’s one of those places that doesn’t pop into your head because you don’t know anybody there.”

A Business meeting at skinhead-themed chicken restaurant This is Chicken. From left: Bundy, Fish, Redboi (promoter), Micky, and Trots.

Formed in South London in 1979, the Business were influential in the Oi! music scene of the late ’70s, a movement that rejected academic and artistic pretensions in favour of working-class street anthems. They had an impact on many younger bands, even all the way over here in Korea. One member even mentions that they were contacted by Korean pogo-punk band Couch several years ago when the band was seeking permission to cover their song “Drinking and Driving,” and they received a stack of Couch albums.

The Business was originally active from 1979 to 1988, and after a few years they reformed with a new lineup. The current drummer, Bundie, and bassist, Trots, have been with the band for a decade, and guitarist Fish has known Fitz for 20 years, and since joining, they estimate Fish has played about 400 shows with the band. Business is booming for the Business, and the current lineup has toured all over the world. On this tour, they’ll be selling copies of their latest EP, Back in the Day.

Redboi and his Business associates check out the venue, with Prism manager Son Jae-woo.
Redboi and his Business associates check out the venue, with Prism manager Son Jae-woo.

This show was made possible by an encounter with Redboi, an American who recently moved to Daegu with his wife who serves in the US military and their son. Redboi had run into the band in Nashville, Tennessee, and he invited them to play a show in Korea. In order to make it profitable, he helped them set up a tour of Japan as well, leaving the single Seoul date the final show of the tour.

The Business will be playing at Prism Hall on Friday, August 15, backed by local Oi! band Resolute, hardcore band Things We Say, and streetpunk band Rux. RSVP on Facebook for the Business show here. On Saturday, they’ll be taking a break from performing to go to Thunderhorse Tavern, where an afterparty concert is being organised in their honour, giving more Korean punks the chance to meet the band and show off their music. The acts for this show are skinhead reggae group Pegurians, pogo-punk group Return Bois, hardcore band Mixed Blood, punk band Cockrasher, and new black metal group Peaz Deaz. RSVP for the afterparty here.