Zandari Festa 2015 will take place in Hongdae from October 2 – 4. In order to spotlight some of the talent performing at this year’s event, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.
For this installment, we’re talking with bassist Natsuki Hirano from Japanese bass-and-drums rock duo Shima Shima Electric.
1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2015?
We want to perform around the world and we want people from all over the world to know about our band. Zandari Festa is Korea’s largest showcase festival and features many great Korean and overseas acts so we feel really honored to be performing there. We hope we can learn lots of things from all the other bands we’ll meet and play with.
2) What can people expect from a Shima Shima Electric live show?
We have only a bass-and-drums setup, but the deep and profound sounds we create will make you think that there’s more than just two of us playing! Since both of us sing, we’re also able to use our voices to add more depth to the music. I think the thrilling sounds of our bass-and-drums-driven songs will excite people at Zandari Festa who are seeing us for the first time.
3) For fest-goers not familiar with Shima Shima Electric yet, what should they know about you?
Yoko and I started Shima Shima Electric in March 2012 and released our first music video in June 2012 for our song “Space Pusher.” In July 2014, we put out our full-length debut, “Kagakuno Kodomo.” We’ve collaborated with Yuji Katsui from the popular Japanese band Rovo in the past, and in March of this year we did our first American tour.
4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2015?
If we have time, we would like to eat Korean food and experience Korean culture. This will be our first time visiting Korea, so we’re looking forward to walking around the streets and meeting Korean people. In Japan, many people love Korean dramas, study Korean, and are very interested in learning about Korea. We want to be able to speak Korean one day.
5) It’s important to stay hydrated at music festivals. What’s your festival drink of choice?
While we’re in Korea for Zandari Festa, we want to drink baekseju. A friend gave us some before and it was so delicious!
For more information about Shima Shima Electric, check out their Facebook page here. To learn more about Zandari Festa 2015, you can check out the festival’s website here and its Facebook page here.
Seoul’s annual Zandari Festa is the largest music showcase fest in the country, and since launching in 2012 has rightfully sat high on autumn’s list of things to do for many indie music fans in Korea.
Zandari Festa 2015 is happening in Hongdae from October 2 – 4. For any musicians out there, Zandari Festa is accepting applications from acts until July 31. The festival is open to all performers regardless of nationality or musical style. Want a shot at playing? Just fill out the English application form here. Something very cool about Zandari Festa is that while many international music showcase festivals charge acts to apply, Zandari Festa doesn’t.
This year’s event will feature over 200 Korean and international bands performing throughout Hongdae in more than 20 different venues. And just like past editions, fans can access all of the shows with one wristband.
Korean post-rock/post-hardcore hybrid band Apollo 18 have played at every Zandari Festa that has been held so far. The group’s bassist, Daeinn Kim, is a big fan of what Zandari Festa is trying to do.
“I think Zandari is a big party,” he says. “It’s kind of like Korea’s SXSW. Zandari is only a few years old now – and is still growing up – but I think it’s going to become a very famous fest in Korea.”
When asked why Zandari Festa is good for Korean and international bands, his answer is simple.
“Famous bands, not famous bands – every band can play at Zandari. All musicians can enjoy this cool festival together.”
Crying Nut played at the first Zandari Festa and returned to perform again last year.
“It’s very, very fun,” says accordionist Insoo Kim about the event. “I got to hang out with lots of musicians and music industry people from all over the world at Zandari Festa 2014. I had a great time with people from England, Germany, and also Russia too. But I think I drank too much last year!”
As part of Crying Nut, Insoo has toured in Asia, North America, and Europe and has performed at large club-style festivals like SXSW in Texas and CMW in Toronto. And even with having played at those renowned outings, Zandari Festa is still tops in his books.
“I think it’s the ultimate city festival in the world,” he says. “All bands and musicians are considered equal and are treated like friends. And for musicians and music fans, we have the chance to make new friends from all around the world during Zandari Festa.”
Zandari Festa 2015 will be accepting applications until July 31. For more information, visit the fest’s official website here.
Billy Carter are playing a special album release concert tonight (June 13) for their debut EP at Ruailrock in Hongdae.
Playing a mix of blues, rockabilly, and garage rock, the Seoul trio are quickly gaining steam in the local indie scene for their rollicking performances. And with a new self-titled EP to celebrate, tonight’s show will likely get extra wild.
“People can come or not come – it’s their choice,” offers vocalist Jiwon Kim. “But it’s better to come, that way you won’t regret missing it!”
Tonight’s gig takes place as part of the monthly punk showcase Seconds Saturdays, which after taking a four-month hiatus following the closure of Club Spot was re-launched in March.
“We respect the concept of Second Saturdays and we’re really happy to be releasing our EP at the show,” says Jiwon. “Four great groups are helping as guest bands and there is going to be a happy hour where you can get two beers for the price of one! And we’ll be giving everyone who pays to come to the show a free copy of our EP too. It’s more than a great deal! We won’t make any profit with this show, but that’s okay because we just want to see the club packed. We’re going to do a 12-song set that will include all of the songs from our EP along with two acoustic songs that we don’t play very often.”
While Billy Carter have been playing as a trio for the past year, the act was originally formed in 2011 as a duo between Jiwon and guitarist Jina Kim.
“Jina and I had been friends for a long time,” Jiwon shares. “We actually met at university. When I saw her for the first time, I knew we would be friends. I thought we had the same taste in music and more importantly I saw that she was the only person who smoked the same brand of cigarettes as me. So I thought if we were friends, I could borrow one off her when mine ran out! One day we had a chance to smoke together and I asked her if she liked punk music. She said she liked Iggy Pop and we became friends.”
Prior to forming Billy Carter, Jina sang and played guitar in Kickscotch and Jiwon had made guest spots on albums by Rux and Skasucks (she’s now a full-term member of Skasucks) and sang live with Attacking Forces sometimes. The two actually came together as Billy Carter for a very specific goal – to play together while traveling in the UK.
“We’d decided to go to London together and thought it would be more fun if we could play there,” says Jiwon. “So we made a two-piece band and started playing. Billy Carter was a kind of a project band for our journey in the UK. But after coming back to Korea, we decided to keep it going.”
The two spent nine months together in London and played as much as they could while they were there.
“We didn’t have any connections or people who could help us so we just looked for anywhere we thought would let us perform,” says Jiwon. “We once found a place looked like a pub with a small stage and went in to ask about auditioning. It turned out the place was a gay cabaret so we couldn’t perform there. But the staff told us about another place and we took part in an open mic night there. The promoter liked us and we started to play there regularly. We landed up playing almost every weekend at many different clubs and pubs and the receptions we got from people were great.”
All of the tracks on Billy Carter’s self-titled EP were written prior to drummer Hyunjoon Lee joining the band just over a year ago. And while they have more material to share, they felt that they weren’t quite ready for a proper album just yet. But on the plus side, after listening to their solid eponymous EP most fans are definitely going to be waiting for more new stuff from Billy Carter. And as far as I’m concerned, the idea of “always leave them wanting more” is a very good adage to follow.
“Our sound is totally different from our former incarnation and we need more time to still develop our sound together. One year is not a long time for us and we don’t like to be in a rush to record songs. Instead we prefer to practice lots and play many gigs to make the sound of each member gel before recording. So if we were to have started with a full-length album, everyone would have to wait a lot longer for a record from us.”
Billy Carter play at Ruailrock on Saturday night as part of Second Saturdays. Tickets are 15,000 won and includes a free copy of Billy Carter’s new EP. The show starts at 9:30 pm and A’z Bus, … Whatever That Means, Command 27, and Pegurians are also on the bill. For more information, check out the concert’s Facebook event page here.
Seoul dance-rock act Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio started their France tour at Midem in Cannes last night as part of the K-Pop Night Out showcase at the festival. Along with their appearance at Midem, the group will also be playing gigs in Saint-Étienne and Paris before returning back to Korea on June 17.
Formed in 2011, the quartet were all formerly techs for YB and members also played in a number of smaller local acts including Go Go Beat, Anti-Roman, and Burning Flowers before coming together as Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio. The group started last year on a high note by winning the Korean Music Award for “Rookie of the Year” and went on to do US tours in both March and October that saw them playing at SXSW, CAAMFest, CMJ, and Culture Collide. Before their performance at the latter, LA Weekly pegged the band as one of the top groups to see and gave them a glowing recommendation saying, “…when you hear their laser-funk guitars and epic choruses, you realize Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio is light years ahead of what most Americans associate with K-Pop. In other words, they’re the band we should be talking about.”
Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio’s current France trek marks their first time gigging in Europe.
“Europe is very far from Korea so we’re definitely excited about this experience,” said guitarist and vocalist Naehyun Kim before flying to France. “It’s always awesome to be able to play in new and interesting places.”
“Last year was our first time touring abroad. While we were in the US we felt that the world was so big and wide, and we realized that we wanted to try and see as much of it as possible as Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio.”
Along with playing concerts, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio will also be recording some music while they are in Paris. The group will be spending a few days in the studio with producers Gregory Louis and Romain Tranchart. Lewis used to be in the French band Aloud while Tranchart played in the band Modjo. Some may remember Modjo from their early 2000s worldwide hit, “Lady.”
“We’ve never worked with a producer before so this will be a completely new experience for us,” said Kim. “The plan is to release an EP with the new songs in Korea and France. It’ll probably come out around August or September.”
Between their shows and recording, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio have a pretty full schedule in France. But when they do manage to find a bit of down time, what do the group hope to do?
“I want to eat French food and meet French women,” said Kim. “Beautiful girls always motivate us, and we’ve heard France has the most beautiful women in Europe!”
Here are Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio’s France tour dates:
June 11 Saint-Étienne, France @ Thunderbird Lounge
June 15 Paris, France @ Le Buzz
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.
Korean glam rockers Victim Mentality are one of 15 Seoul-based acts traveling to the States this month to perform at the massive South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Before leaving for SXSW, the quartet are playing a special show on Friday night (March 6) at Club Ta in Hongdae to preview cuts from their soon-to-be released full-length debut, “Heavy Metal Is Back.”
Formed in 2009 as a duo, Victim Mentality’s first recording, 2013’s five-track “Magic Finger,” was crafted by guitarist Kyungho Sohn and vocalist Krocodile. Bassist Scorpion was brought on after the recording was finished. When Victim Mentality started gigging behind “Magic Finger” they did not have a drummer yet. So a drum machine was used at concerts until Tarantula was finally hired to handle drum duties.
Now more than year after the addition of Tarantula, Victim Mentality have finished their first album as a quartet, “Heavy Metal Is Back.”
“From the beginning, we wanted to be a foursome,” says Sohn. “Working with four people is much easier and better for us. I know there are some people that play as one-man bands, but I think it’s important for each member to be able to focus 100% on their instrument. And a one-man band style doesn’t necessarily fit with the image of a ‘80s heavy metal band!
“When making ‘Magic Finger,’ I recorded the guitar and bass parts, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results. On ‘Magic Finger’ we needed a bassist to make the arrangements. On our new album, we have that! The same thing goes for the drum parts.”
Following a similar sonic path as “Magic Finger,” “Heavy Metal Is Back” sees Victim Mentality continuing to pay tribute to the past by banging out anthemic cuts heavily inspired by ‘80s glam and hair metal. Although the group are very serious about what they do, they don’t take themselves too seriously which is evident by their flamboyant costumes, and playful lyrics and stage antics.
According to Sohn, they like to have fun when working in the studio too.
“We laugh a lot when we record,” he says. “Watching Krocodile record his vocal parts was quite the spectacle. We also like to misbehave a bit when recording as well! We told a lot of dirty jokes while we were recording the song ‘Is It My Child?'”
Although “Heavy Metal Is Back” won’t be officially released until the end of the month, the group will be taking copies of the disc with them to SXSW. If the band’s suitcases are checked at all by customs workers, the albums will be easy to talk about. The bullwhip that Krocodile uses during live shows, however, may be a bit more challenging to explain.
“We’re planning to bring the bullwhip with us to the US but haven’t given any thought to what we’ll say if any airport staff ask about it. But if they don’t let us bring the bullwhip in the US it doesn’t really matter. I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to find another one in Texas!”
Victim Mentality perform on Friday at Club Ta. The show starts at 8 pm and tickets are 22,000 won. Mimi Sisters will open the show. And here are the band’s concerts during SXSW:
March 18 Austin, Texas (4:30 pm) @ Club Metropolis (Heavy Metal Pool Party)
March 18 Austin, Texas (9 pm) @ Karma Lounge
March 20 Austin, Texas (12 am) @ The Majestic (Korea Night II: Seoulsonic)
For the past two years, Korea Gig Guide has been co-presenting the Shake Shop concert series with Dream Dance Studio. Held monthly, the event has seen some of the top talents in Seoul’s indie scene collaborating with bellydancer Eshe and her Navah troupe. Since Shake Shop started in February 2012, here’s the complete list of acts that have performed at the show:
Galaxy Express, Kingston Rudieska, Rux, Jambinai, Hollow Jan, The Strikers, Smacksoft, Harry Big Button, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, Ludistelo, The Geeks, The Greatest Voyage, Asian Chairshot, Big Phony, Startline, ECE, A’z Bus, Streetguns, 4 Brothers, Momguamaum, Hellivision, Romantiqua, Viduldi Ooyoo, Yukari, Juck Juck Grunzie, Pavlov, Love X Stereo, Dead Buttons, Toyshop, Beatniks, Ninano Nanda, Summit Beatbox, Tengger, …Whatever That Means, Mojo Project Sound System, Sato Yukie, Counter Reset, Bad Trip, Wasted Johnny’s, Modsdive, My Way Killing, T-shirts Sunset, Yamagata Tweakster, National Pigeon Unity, Danpyunsun, Sugar Come Again, No. 1 Korean, Ynot?
This Saturday (February 14), will be the final Shake Shop concert as the creator of the series, Seoul-based bellydancer Eshe, will soon be returning to her native Canada. But Shake Shop will definitely be closing out on a high note as Saturday’s concert at Club Freebird 2 in Hongdae will see Eshe and Navah teaming up with Apollo 18, Galaxy Express, Goonam, and … Whatever That Means.
Saturday night will be Apollo 18’s first time playing Shake Shop. However, the post-hardcore/post-rock trio have a long history with Eshe. In 2009, they asked her to star in their “Orbis” music video and they have performed the track live with her as a special guest several times over the years.
“It’s always exciting to play with Eshe,” says bassist Kim Dae-inn. “Her dancing adds so much beauty to the world.”
The band are currently working on material for their long overdue follow-up to 2011’s “Black” EP. Three new songs have been penned so far, and the band are hoping to start recording this summer. But for now, Kim’s mind is on Apollo 18’s Shake Shop appearance with Eshe and Navah.
“For our next album, we need to think bigger,” he says. “But now the most important thing is Apollo 18’s concert with bellydancers. It’s going to be a wonderful performance of dance and music.”
Galaxy Express were a part of the February 2014 edition of Shake Shop, Shake Shop volume 12. The psych-tinged garage rock group are excited about having the opportunity to help finish the series too.
“We’re so happy to be playing,” says bassist Lee Ju-hyun. “It’s an honor to be a part of the lineup for the last Shake Shop. We think it’s going to be a really fun and happy night.”
The band are putting the finishing touches on their fourth full-length offering and the plan is to issue the disc sometime this year.
“The music is more relaxed, simple, and free” says Lee.
Goonam have been on Eshe’s and Navah’s wish list for a long time. And luckily schedules meshed and the four piece were able to join the final edition of Shake Shop.
“I think this will be a special experience,” says guitarist Joh Ung. “I wanted to be a dancer when I was younger so this is a good fit for us.”
Like the other bands playing on Saturday night, Goonam’s retro-flavored rock is very different from traditional bellydance music. But Joh doesn’t think that matters.
“Nice music complements nice sceneries,” he says. “So nice dancing will be really good with nice music.”
… Whatever That Means have also appeared at Shake Shop before. The melodic punk act were a part of Shake Shop volume 9 back in October 2013. Eshe and the band have been talking about teaming up again ever since.
“The first Shake Shop we played was so much fun,” says guitarist Jeff Moses. “We really didn’t know what to expect last time. I knew The Strikers had done Shake Shop, and they said it went well. Still, we weren’t really sure how it would go. Everything went really well though, and all the dancers were just so impressive. We knew right away that we’d want to do this again.
“Since then, we’ve become good friends with several of the ladies who do the show so this time should be even more fun. Add to that the great lineup for the final show, and how couldn’t we be excited?”
The band recently returned back to Korea after touring in Singapore and Malaysia in January. They had previously toured Malaysia in 2010, but this was their first time doing dates in Singapore.
“The tour was great!” says Moses. “The last time we came down here, we were a really new band. We’d just released our first demo and nobody had heard of us before. We ended up playing most of our shows with hardcore and metal bands who we didn’t really fit in with. This time around, the lineups were a lot more balanced, a lot of people remembered us from the last tour, and a lot of people who didn’t know us listened to us online and watched our music videos before we came. All that just really helped us have more excited audiences to play for.
“One of the biggest highlights was definitely our show in Melaka. We honestly had low hopes for the show. It was on a Tuesday in a city with a really small scene, and we hadn’t seen a lot of advertising for it. We showed up at the venue, and there wasn’t anyone there at first, but over fifty people ended up coming out and they all went nuts! We were playing in a big practice room and everyone was jumping around and moshing. It was really cool.”
Shake Shop volume 20 will be the last edition of the Shake Shop concert series and takes place on Saturday, February 14 at Club Freebird 2. Eshe and Navah will collaborate with Apollo 18, Galaxy Express, Goonam, and … Whatever That Means. The show starts at 7:30 pm and tickets are 20,000 won with 1 free drink. For more information, check out the Facebook event page for the show here.
Seoul electro-rock act Love X Stereo will play a special album release concert for their new “We Love We Leave, Part 1” EP on Tuesday, February 10 at Prism in Hongdae.
“We Love We Leave, Part 1” boasts two excellent new tracks that were written and recorded in December and early January.
“The new songs have more of a ‘80s synth-pop vibe,” offers vocalist and synthesizer player Annie Ko.
Along with the recently penned numbers, “We Love We Leave, Part 1” also features five re-recorded cuts from the group’s earlier EPs – “Glow” (2013), “Off the Grid” (2012), and “Buzzin’” (2011). And while the original versions of all the selections were quite good, these updated takes are stronger and much more polished making them even more infectious.
“For the last three years, we’ve been experimenting,” shares Ko. “We have learned a lot, experienced a lot, and thought now is the time to properly ‘define’ our music. We re-record some tracks because we wanted to enhance their sound quality and wanted to establish our style as a band. We picked these tracks because they are our most beloved songs so far.”
Based on the EPs title – “We Love We Leave, Part 1” – most fans are probably already assuming that there will be a follow-up album coming at some point. Although she’s mum on the exact details, Ko does confirm that another EP of tunes called “We Love We Leave, Part 2” will surface sometime in 2015.
Love X Stereo have been operating as a duo since parting ways with bassist Sol Han last November, but Pegurians drummer Jongkil Kim has been helping them out at gigs. He’ll be with Ko and guitarist Toby Hwang for their February 10 show at Prism too. And while Tuesday is not usually the most rocking of nights in Hongdae, Love X Stereo’s concert for “We Love We Leave, Part 1” will definitely be a good time.
“We designed this show more like a premiere,” says Ko. “We now feel like we have a unique sound of our own. It took a while for us to get here, but the time was worth it. On February 10, we’re going to showcase our brand new sound and give a brand new copy of ‘We Love We Leave, Part 1’ to everyone who shows up. And also, Galaxy Express will be there to help us celebrate! We’re going to have some serious fun that night.”
Love X Stereo plays on February 10 at Prism. The show starts at 8 pm and tickets are 15,000 won at the door. The entrance fee includes a free “We Love We Leave, Part 1” CD. Galaxy Express will open the concert. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event page here.
Since February 2013, Korea Gig Guide has been co-presenting the Shake Shop concert series with Dream Dance Studio. Created by bellydancer Eshe, the monthly event mixes local indie music with bellydancing. After seven years in Seoul, Eshe will be moving back to her native Canada this spring which means there will only be two more Shake Shop shows. This month’s gig will take place on Saturday night (January 24) and will see No. 1 Korean, Ynot?, and Sugar, Come Again all collaborating with Eshe and her Navah bellydance troupe.
No. 1 Korean were quick to join the bill for Saturday’s show after learning that January’s Shake Shop will be the second last installment of the series.
“We heard our friend Eshe will be moving to Canada soon, so we really wanted to do this concert together” says Kwon Milk, the band’s charismatic frontman.
Although No. 1 Korean’s catchy hybrid of ska and rock is very different from typical bellydance fare, the group have little doubt that their collaboration with Eshe and Navah will be fun and entertaining.
“We think our music easily transcends boundaries,” says Kwon Milk. “And beyond those boundaries we hope to dance with everyone. Together with the dancers, we hope to share feelings that cannot be expressed with words.”
The act’s most recent offering is their “My Small Calendar” EP. Released last April, the six-track effort is a mellower affair than No. 1 Korean’s previous output.
“We chose to make love songs for the EP,” shares Kwon Milk. “We tried to express many complicated feelings about love in the world with different relaxed sounds.”
Like No. 1 Korean, Ynot? are looking forward to their collaboration with Eshe and Navah.
“These belly dancers have been performing for a very long time, but unfortunately Ynot? haven’t had the chance to perform with them yet,” says vocalist Jeon Sangkyu. “Since this will be one of the last Shake Shops, we feel very lucky to be playing.”
As for the collaboration itself, Jeon feels that Ynot’s funky rock cuts will fit well with bellydancing.
“Throughout our career, Ynot? have been very interested with the idea of rhythm,” says Jeon. “Our beat might be a little tougher and more rocking compared to more traditional bellydance ones, but it should still be good because all rhythm is meant to make people dance! And we also use Korean traditional percussion, which will make it a very unique and interesting performance.”
In December, the quintet celebrated their fifteenth anniversary and issued a new full-length titled “Swing.” In their write-up of “Swing,” the website Korean Indie said that the “album offers emotional and intensified music which makes you yearn for more.” Wanting more songs to bop around to, the favorable review later stated that despite the disc boasting a dozen tracks, “it doesn’t seem like enough.”
“It’s heavier and the music and lyrics are more aggressive,” says Jeon when comparing it to the group’s back catalogue. “We spent a whole year writing and recording our new album. I think we put the most effort, time, and money into this one.”
Rounding out Saturday night’s bill is Sugar, Come Again. The self-dubbed “emotional reggae” band is led by Kingston Rudieska vocalist Sugar Sukyuel and also includes Kingston Rudieska drummer Kim Daemin. The project sprang from a solo show Sugar Sukyuel did in October 2013.
“I had some friends help me with my solo show,” Sugar Sukyuel says. “It was so much fun that we decided to make a band. I really like reggae music and had actually been thinking about making a reggae band so I’m happy that it luckily happened!
“Sugar, Come Again’s music has violin, which is unusual for reggae music, but we’re trying to challenge ourselves and to create a new sound which we call ‘emotional reggae.’”
In spring 2014, Sugar, Come Again entered the studio to record some tracks, and last July they put out a two-song single called “1st Exercise.” The group’s goal for this year is to continue to practice and play lots in order to continue growing as a band.
Last year, Sugar Sukyuel appeared at Shake Shop with Kingston Rudieska and had a great time working with Eshe and Navah. He’s excited about teaming up with the hip-shaking beauties again as Sugar, Come Again.
“We’ve been thinking that bellydancing is a good match for our music, so this should be a great collaboration,” he says. “We think there are no boundaries between any kind of music and dance and that it’s really easy for music and dance to come together as one.”
Shake Shop Vol. 19 takes place on Saturday, January 24 at Club Freebird 2. The doors open at 7:30 pm and the cover charge is 15,000 won with a free drink. Eshe and Navah will perform alongside No. 1 Korean, Ynot?, and Sugar, Come Again. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event page here. And here are the set times for the concert:
8:15 Sugar, Come Again
9:45 No.1 Korean
Volume 1 of Ladies’ Night, a new concert series “aimed at bringing awareness to the problem of street harassment and other issues affecting women in Korea,” will take place on Saturday night (January 10) at Club Ta in Hongdae.
The event will feature a number of very good female-fronted local acts including Manju Pocket, A’z Bus, Veins, Oops Nice, Billy Carter, Wasted Johnny’s, and Juck Juck Grunzie as well as bellydancers Eshe and Navah. Proceeds from Ladies’ Night Volume 1 will be donated to Hollaback! Korea.
“We’re excited!” says Veins guitarist and vocalist Yu Hee. “The show is going to be loud and crowded.”
“The purpose of the gig is also very good,” adds A’z Bus guitarist and vocalist Woo Ju.
A’z Bus will be sharing material from their new “Mono Mobile” EP on Saturday night. The five-track effort was released in December and serves as the follow-up to the alt-rock trio’s solid “Smilecry” EP.
“We made the songs last spring and recorded them in the fall,” Woo Ju says. “Our second EP sounds more organized because the members of our band were more familiar with the songs.”
November 2014 saw A’z Bus coming in second place at the Hello Rookie finals and in December they won first prize at KOCCA’s K-Rookies Final Concert. Their set at Club Ta on January 10 promises to be one of many entertaining performances at Ladies’ Night Volume 1.
Ladies’ Night Volume 1 takes place on Saturday night at Club Ta. The show starts at 7 pm and tickets are 10,000 won. For more information, visit the Facebook event page here. And here are the set times for the concert.