Concert reviews

Recent collaborations between British and Korean musicians have not always been successful. A planned experiment between jazz trumpeter Guy Barker and Samulnori founder Kim Duk-soo never happened because the latter went awol when Barker came to visit. Instead, having already been booked for the 2008 Dano Festival in Trafalgar Square, Barker appeared briefly on stage […]

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Jambinai at the Oslo Hackney – a second-hand mini-review

by Philip Gowman 13 October 2016
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We didn’t manage to get to Jambinai at the Oslo Hackney as this year. Nor it seems did the Guardian or Resonate, who have been diligent reviewers of the other K-Music gigs. Jambinai were certainly one of the highlights of last year’s festival – and I would have loved to have got to see them […]

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Gig review: Patients + Idiotape @ Rich Mix

by Philip Gowman 11 October 2016
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Sometimes you enjoy an event but don’t know what to say about it. Rock music is not one of my own core competencies. I know when a band enthuses me, but if asked to describe the style or genre, or to compare the musicians with other, possibly Western, reference points I’m usually at a loss. […]

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Gig review: Youn Sun Nah + Ulf Wakenius @ Union Chapel

by Philip Gowman 6 October 2016
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It’s been too long since Youn Sun Nah performed in London: five long years. Last time was a small, intimate venue – Pizza Express in Soho – and the time before was the Queen Elizabeth Hall – more generous in terms of space but one that made the performers work hard to create the atmosphere. […]

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Concert notes: Jeong Ga Ak Hoe at the British Museum

by Philip Gowman 19 September 2016
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Although the official opening concert of K-Music 2016 is Nah Youn-sun with Ulf Wakenius on 20 September, the British Museum’s Chuseok celebrations in collaboration with the KCC have given us several performances by the contemporary gugak group Jeong Ga Ak Hoe. They presented a programme of traditional music in the Korean Gallery on the morning […]

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Concert notes: China, Korea and Syria at Club Inégales

by Philip Gowman 25 July 2016
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The final gig of Club Inégales’ current season was predictably unpredictable. You know the format in advance, but you never know what the outcome will be. The house band, or subsets of it, improvise in the first set; in the second set the guests solo; and in the third set everyone plays together, cross fertilising […]

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Concert notes: Gamin and Notes Inégales at the Spitalfields Festival

by Philip Gowman 27 June 2016
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When we previewed the double bill at Wilton’s Music Hall featuring Purcell with Korean, Middle Eastern and western instruments, improvisation and more, we had an inkling that the evening might be something special. And we were darn right. This was music making and entertainment that is rare to find anywhere. First, the Purcell. King Arthur / the […]

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Neon Bunny – please come back to London soon!

by Philip Gowman 6 June 2016
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London has been doing well recently for live music: from B.A.P to Jambinai via Dead Buttons and more, there has been something for everyone. But the artist that I personally have been looking forward to seeing more than the rest is Neon Bunny (야광토끼) – whose debut album Seoulight made it into the list of […]

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Concert review: BAP – Live at the Coronet, Elephant and Castle

by Linda Derham 19 May 2016
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BAP – Live at the Coronet, Elephant and Castle, 13 May 2016. Sold out – and could have been sold out three times over, from what I hear. TLDR: the venue was awful but BAP lived up to their name! Do you want the good bit or the bad bit first? I’ll get the bad […]

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Concert notes: Joo Yeon Sir’s Festival Hall debut

by 앤서방 7 May 2016
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UK based violinist Joo Yeon Sir made a thrilling debut at The Royal Festival Hall last night. “Lament for the Valley”, a short piece for violin and orchestra, was composed for her by Karl Jenkins as part of his 2015 Music Award, in association with Classic FM. Conducted by Jenkins, Sir delivered an exhilarating, technically brilliant […]

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Concert Notes: National Gugak Centre at the Lilian Baylis Theatre

by Philip Gowman 18 October 2015
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You can’t really have a Korean music festival without some traditional music as once enjoyed by the court and literati. And who better to perform it that members of Korea’s National Gugak Centre, the body established to preserve and perform such music. The musicians have been touring Europe, most recently in Paris to launch Année […]

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Concert notes: Pansori night at the Cadogan Hall

by Philip Gowman 2 October 2015
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On the rare occasions that Pansori is performed in London I always get a sense of disappointment. The Pansori Night at the Cadogan Hall as part of K-Music was no exception, though there were mitigating factors. With a pansori the whole point is the story that unfolds before you. You know where the story is […]

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Concert notes: Jambinai at Rich Mix

by Philip Gowman 30 September 2015
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The somewhat spartan surroundings of the main performance space in Shoreditch’s Rich Mix was an ideal place in which to enjoy one of the most interesting fusion bands to have come out of Korea. For LKL, it was the highlight of the K-Music festival so far, and more than lived up to an extremely high […]

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Concert notes: The Barberettes at the Forge, Camden

by Philip Gowman 21 September 2015
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The three Barberettes, together with backing band of keyboard, drum and bass, received an enthusiastic welcome at The Forge in Camden for their two-night residency. They also did well to get coverage on London and national radio and national TV. Lola Kothari on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction pronounced them ‘wonderful’, and one member of […]

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Concert notes: SU:M at the Purcell Room in K-Music 2015

by Philip Gowman 16 September 2015
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Kmusic 2015 got off to a haunting start at the Purcell Room on 1 September with the unusual fusion duo SU:M. I have to confess that, based on the one or two YouTube videos I had watched prior to the evening, I was expecting to be lukewarm. And having an English pianist playing some of […]

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Review: Kingston Welcomes Korea performances at the Rose Theatre

by Philip Gowman 14 September 2015
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Kingston Welcomes Korea is hopefully the first of several annual events at which Kingston will seek to welcome various foreign communities in a festival that combines cultural and business interaction. Korea was the obvious first choice to be welcomed in this way, given that ethnic Koreans represent around 10% of the borough’s population, and also given […]

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The Massive reports from the Boys Republic concert

by Philip Gowman 25 July 2015
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It seems the Boys Republic gig in Islington on 4 July went down well with the audience. The Korean Class Massive has a detailed account of the evening on their blog, and loads of photos on their Facebook page. Sounds like a good evening.

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