Monthly Archives: May 2015

Festival Time Again

Ice coffees are back in vogue, the moggies are starting to annoy us, and the World DJ Festival is over — all of which means that it’s pretty much summer and, more importantly, the outdoor music festival season is upon us.

Most of the big festivals from last year are back, one returns after a one-year hiatus, another celebrates its 10th year, one classic fest is really taking things up to a new level, and two seem strangely absent. So let’s do a roll call of who is doing what, when, and for how much. In chronological order, let’s meet the class of 2015!

Greenplugged —  May 23-24
Nanji Camping Ground, Han River Park
66,000 won (1 day), 109,000 won (2 days)

Now an institution in sixth year, Greenplugged is a 2-day, multizone festival featuring a host of Korean acts across all genres. Headliners this year include (Saturday) YB, Dynamic Duo, and Sinawe (with Kim Bada), and (Sunday) MFBTY, Guckasten, Epitone Project, and Serengeti. There seems to be a strong hip hop focus and less rock than it used to have, but with such a nice location for live music I’m sure they will again attract a solid crowd.

Greenplugged 2015

Seoul Jazz Festival — May 23-25
Olympic Park
123,000 won (1 day), 190,000 won (2 days), 287,000 won (3 days)

Another festival running this weekend, this one for three days, from Saturday till Monday, and encompassing a very broad variety of artists, including Chick Korea & Herbie Hancock, Basement Jazz, Owl City, Mika, Sergio Mendes, Gregory Porter, and The Cardigans, plus a large number of other international and domestic acts. With four zones and the advantage of being held over the Buddha birthday weekend, they really seem to have pulled out all the stops to make this one of the biggest festivals of the season. One could argue the “jazziness” of this event, but that seems to be the trend the world over, and I think they will draw record numbers this weekend.

Seouljazz2015

Exit Festival — May 30-31
Olympic Stadium
66,000-88,000 won

Now in its second year (after last year’s rain affected the launch), Exit has been moved to an earlier time and has a similar lineup, if not slightly stronger one. Two large outdoor zones backed up by a third smaller covered one, this all Korean fest brings together rock, pop, funk, and pretty much all genres for two fun days. Acts include Crying Nut, Clazziquai, Glen Check, No Brain, Galaxy Express, Yellow Monsters, Windy City, and about 75 more, so there is definitely bang for your buck.

Ultra Korea (UMF) — June 12-13
Olympic Stadium
180,000 won

Now in its fourth year, and showing no signs of slowing down, Korea’s premier EDM event has unleashed some of the biggest names in the business, with Skrillex and David Guetta sure to attract huge numbers on their own.  They will be joined by Alesso, Hardwell, Nicky Romero, Knife Party, and many more. Last year’s introduction of the “live arena” proved popular, and sees Snoop Dogg, CL, Galantis, Porter Robinson, 2ManyDJ’s,  Lil Jon and others take the stage. It’s definitely the festival to beat in terms of dance.

Rainbow Island Music Festival — June 20-21
Nami Island
44,000-66,000 won

This 2-day, family-friendly event in the Gyeonggi countryside is back for its fifth year, and, after experimenting with a few international acts in the past, this year they’re keeping things strictly Korean. This fest will have the Kim Chang Won Band, Benzeeno, Sultan of the Disco, Mimi Sisters, The Barberettes, and many more.

Rainbow Island 2015

Ansan Valley Rock Festival — July 24-26
Daebu Sea Breeze Theme Park
150,000 won (1 day), 220,000 won (2 days), 260,000 won (3 days)

This the second time Valley Rock has played in the Ansan Valley location (after missing last year), and the festival certainly got tongues wagging with their initial announcement that the Foo Fighters would be in attendance. They have been joined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Deadmau5, OK Go, Rudimental, Motorhead, The Chemical Brothers, One OK Rock, Twenty One Pilots, and a host of local acts. We have heard that festival organizers have made a lot of changes to the layout and organization to make this year’s Valley Rock better than ever.

Pentaport Rock Festival — Aug. 7-9
Songdo Pentaport Park
110,500 won (1 day), 153,000 won (2 days), 187,000 won (3 days)

Ten years. TEN YEARS! The original is still rocking, and looking to celebrate a decade in style. Its lineup is still getting announced, but so far international acts include The Prodigy, Scorpions, and The Kooks, to help the early bird tickets sell out fast. Joined by the one and only Seo Taiji (who normally only plays festivals that have his name in the title), 10CM, Windy City, Yellow Monsters, Thornapple, and many more, it looks like it will be a fun birthday.

Pentaport 2015

So far, there seems no word about Supersonic or CityBreak being held this year, although Let’s Rock has started selling blind tickets for its Sept. 19-20 dates. Global Gathering, coming Oct. 3, is also selling blind tickets for a big discount, while the Jarasum Jazz Festival will be held Oct. 9-11. 

We will try to keep you updated with all things festive and hope you get to enjoy the many sonic flavors on offer in the 2015 season.

Still Patients After All These Years

Ten years after forming, Korean “hybrid punk” rockers Patients continue to evolve and grow and 2015 is shaping up as an amazing year for the trio. With a newly released high-energy album called “18” to showcase and a return trip to the UK coming up, we thought it was time for a catch up with the group, so we spoke with vocalist and bassist Sumin Jo about “18” and Patients’ upcoming plans.

Patients 2015 - 2

You have been together since 2005, how have you grown as a band and changed your sound?

When I started the band, I was influenced by classic punk bands from the 1970s and wanted to be like them. But over the past decade, we’ve carved out our own identity.  Just copying other people’s style is not fun, so we’re continually trying new things in order to strengthen and expand our sound.

What has been the reaction since you moved to a keyboard-driven sound?

Our keyboardist Hyuckjang is like a one-man orchestra so he’s very helpful to the band!  Patients want to mix future-oriented sounds with elements of classic punk and Hyuckjang helps us do this.  Our old friends like the changes we’ve made.  And I like that we’re doing something different from other people.

Your new album, “18,” is full of energy and great for summer. What was the main inspiration for it?

In many ways, Korean society is in pain and many people have signs of darkness on their faces.  I think music is very important at this time and should help people who are searching for happiness.  That’s why we wanted to put bright songs on the album.  Most of the songs are energetic and sound upbeat, but some of the lyrics are a little sad.  However, I hope our music can comfort people and make them feel better.

How do you feel about the album now that it is out? What is each member’s favorite track?

Releasing this album gave me feelings of pleasure and pain – it kind of felt like what I imagine childbirth must be like!  My favourite song is “Let’s Drive, Let’s Go!”, Hyuckjang’s is “Hybrid Future,” and Jaehyuck’s is “R.I.P.”

You have Seoul shows coming up at Strange Fruit, Soundholic Festival 2015 Exit, and Sangsang Madang what can people expect from your live shows?

They can expect awesome playing and awesome songs.  We’re really excited about our new album and can’t wait to share the songs on it with everyone.

Steel Face Logo

Tell us about Steel Face Records and you intentions behind setting up your own label?

Steel Face Records was started so that Patients could have the ability to do whatever we wanted to.  Since it’s our own label, we have complete freedom to go in whichever direction we want.  We’re open to having others join us there too. So come on, let’s move forward together!

Who else is on Steel Face?

The other bands on Steel Face now are Cockrasher, One Hundred Blossom Club, and Dives.

You are heading off to the UK shortly for Liverpool Sound City. Why are you excited to play at the festival again?

We played at Liverpool Sound City for the first time last year and it was like being in heaven!  There were lots of cool groups and music fans from all over the world crowding the streets.  We were really happy to be a part of that.  We can’t wait to play there again in a few weeks!

How confident do you feel having already travelled there? Are you doing anything differently this time?

We explored around Liverpool a lot last year so we definitely have a good feel for the city now.  We think our two shows at the festival this year will be better and stronger than our performances in 2014 because we’ve got some great new music to share.  We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone at Liverpool Sound City again.

Lasting 10 years is a great effort for any band, do you have any advice for young bands coming through who want to last that long?

Being in a rock band can be hard sometimes and it can be challenging to find other band members that you trust and gel with.  But when you find those people, don’t hold anything back and move forward together.  Honestly, I don’t think we should be giving advice to young bands, but I do want to support them.  All of us should be fighting together!

Patients will play at Strange Fruit on Sunday night.  The show is being billed as a send off for Liverpool Sound City and also includes Dead Buttons and Monoban.  Tickets are 15,000 won and the show starts at 7 pm.

Strange Fruit Show

Here are Patients’ tour dates in the UK:
May 19 London, England @ Korea Cultural Centre UK
May 23 Liverpool, England @ The Heineken Tall Ship Stage (Kaskelot) – Liverpool Sound City
May 24 Liverpool, England @ The Cavern Stage – Liverpool Sound City

Patients UK Tour Poster

When they come back to Korea, Patients will play at Seoul’s Soundholic Festival 2015 Exit on May 30 and on June 12 the group will hold a special CD release concert for “18” at Sangsang Madang in Hongdae.

are taking their new album “18” back to the UK very shortly, and will be gracing the stages at the Liverpool Sound City for the second time.  But you can catch them live at the Exit Soundholic Festival at the end of May. “18” is out now.

Sangsang Madang

French Miracle Tour Comes to Seoul

A trio of acts from France – Manceau, Juveniles, and Clarens – will play in Seoul on Monday, May 4 at Sangsang Madang as part of the French Miracle Tour.

Manceau previously played in Korea back in 2013 as part of the one-off Jisan World Music Festival, but for Juveniles and Clarens this will be their first time performing here.  To get folks prepared for Monday’s gig, all three acts answered a few questions for Korea Gig Guide.

Why are you excited about playing in Seoul as part of The French Miracle Tour?

Jean-Sylvain Le Gouic (Juveniles): Hearing Seoul was added to the tour was fantastic news! Going there with a lot of our friends is going to make for awesome memories. And the guys from Manceau are going to show us around as they’ve been there before.

Clarens: Apart from Manceau, none of us have ever been to Seoul. To be honest, I’ve never been this far from France before. And we’re going to have a few days off in the city, so this is going to be great. Playing abroad is always special as we’re all used to playing in France. So being able to play in another country is wonderful.

Vincent Roux (Manceau): It’s a great opportunity to be part of such an ambitious tour and to play in Asia again. Koreans have always been enthusiastic about our music. So this concert in Seoul is a very special date for us.

How were the bands for the bill selected?

Jean-Sylvain Le Gouic (Juveniles): We’re all friends and we’ve toured together countless times. Ousseynou Cissé  aka Clarens plays bass in Juveniles and both bands are signed to my label, Paradis Records. We also all practice in the same space and we all have the same sound guy so we’re pretty close.

Clarens: We’re all friends, we live in the same town, and we’ve know each other for a long time. We share the same manager and he’s wanted us to tour together for a while. I’m glad it’s actually happening!

Vincent Roux (Manceau): We all live in the same city and Rennes is quite a small place. We rehearse at the same place and share gear sometimes. We’re thrilled to be on the road with our friends. It’s going to be an amazing experience.

What can people expect from your performance in Seoul?

Jean-Sylvain Le Gouic (Juveniles): We’ve prepared a whole new show for the French Miracle Tour. It includes new songs from the record we’re working on at the moment, plus a lot of dancey songs.

Clarens: My set is going to be a good time to chill.

Vincent Roux (Manceau): We’ve just finished mixing our next album and we’re going to play a lot of new material in Seoul. We also have new versions of several tracks from “Life Traffic Jam” that we can’t wait to perform. Also, it’s very important for us to meet and talk with our Korean friends after the show. We want to know their feelings about our new songs.

Why should all music fans come to The French Miracle Tour show in Seoul?

Jean-Sylvain Le Gouic (Juveniles): The French Miracle Tour is a good representation of the variety in French pop music. It’s been tailored to make people smile and dance for the whole night!

Clarens: They should come to the show to discover what’s going on in France! There will be R&B, pop, and electronic music … what else do you need ?

Vincent Roux (Manceau): We all play pop music, but our influences are a bit different. We have some Britpop roots and we try to refresh the style, Juveniles plays subtle synth-pop which is both catchy and complex, and Clarens makes fascinating, warm R&B by using cold machines. So if you like modern pop, this concert is definitely the place to be.

The French Miracle Tour takes place on Monday night at Sangsang Madang.  The show starts at 7 pm and tickets are 55,000 won. Saram12saram will open the concert. For more information, visit the Facebook event page here.

French Miracle