K-pop rock and indie

If you can’t make it to Liverpool Sound City, you can catch five of the six Korean bands who are performing there, in London. The only one you won’t be able to catch in London is Hellivision. Dead Buttons, asian chairshot and Patients will be at AAA on 9 May. And on Tuesday 6 May, […]

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Three Korean underground bands come to Kensington

by Philip Gowman 27 April 2014
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After last year’s Hyundai Card tour by four Korean rock bands, this year we have several more coming to England. In London we have Dead Buttons, asian chairshot and Patients performing at AAA on Friday 9 May; on Saturday 10 May Dead Buttons and Patients return to perform at the Astbury Castle in Peckham; while […]

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Book review: Mark James Russell — K-POP Now!

by Philip Gowman 19 March 2014
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Mark James Russell: K-POP Now! – The Korean music revolution Tuttle Publishing, 2014, 128pp If the only thing you know about K-pop is Gangnam Style, this book is for you. And even for someone who knows a bit about the subject, this is a handy book to browse. For me, as an occasional lurker and […]

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If you’re into J-pop as well as K-pop, Japako is for you

by Philip Gowman 9 March 2014
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I just received an email from Japako magazine in my inbox – a new magazine (available by preorder) that covers Korean and Japanese pop music and culture. There 2nd issue is available for preorder now, with a special deal to get the first issue as well. Here’s what they told me: Japako Music was founded […]

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K-Pop Now! by Mark James Russell – coming soon from Tuttle Publishing

by Philip Gowman 15 February 2014
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At LKL, we loved Mark James Russell’s first book on the Korean entertainment industry, Pop Goes Korea. So we’re looking forward to his follow-up, focusing more narrowly on K-pop, which is due to be launched in April from Tuttle Publishing. It’s already available for preorder on Amazon.co.uk. Below is the official press release, or you […]

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DJ Masa Live in London

by Philip Gowman 10 February 2014
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There have been K-pop nights in London before, but not one that has created this amount of buzz… DJ Masa Live in London Get ready for the biggest K-pop club night London has seen yet – DJ Masa, the most famous international K-pop DJ is coming to perform LIVE in London for his last international […]

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Korean indie musician invited to Glastonbury

by Philip Gowman 31 December 2013
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Is this a first for a Korean musician? Singer-songwriter Choi Go-eun (최고은, also known as Gonne Choi) will be performing at Glastonbury in 2014, according to the Chosun Ilbo. Here’s hoping she stops off in London on the way. Here she is singing Eric’s Song: You can find some of her tracks on iTunes under […]

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All I want for Christmas …

by Philip Gowman 26 December 2013
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This MBC video is at least two years old, but like a Richard Curtis film it bears watching again.

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YG v CJ, and PSY everywhere, at Billingsate

by Philip Gowman 6 November 2013
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Day 1 of the Korea Branding and Entertainment Expo, coinciding with President Park’s State Visit, was very much business-focused, with fashion and contents buyers browsing the many stalls. Day 2 was given over to the visual arts and musical entertainments. Downstairs, in the spectacular vaulted basement, was a huge exhibition of video art, celebrating the […]

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Booking now open for Super Junior’s Super Show 5

by Philip Gowman 29 September 2013
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It seems that following Big Bang’s performances in Wembley Arena last year the K-pop promoters have gained confidence that there is a market in London for the big groups. So here comes one of the most established ones, on 9 November. Super Junior – Super Show 5 World Tour 9 November, Wembley Arena, 8pm £56 […]

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Hongdae hosts rap v pansori battle

by Philip Gowman 22 September 2013
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An interesting stunt pitting rappers against pansori performers was held in Hongdae last Friday. When I was waiting for Love X Stereo to come on stage at Freebird, I really should have been down at V-Hall, where the RapPansori battle was held. And a pansori singer was the victor. Source: Joongang Daily

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Jay Park, supported by Victor, at the Hammersmith Apollo

by Philip Gowman 17 September 2013
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How could I have forgotten about this little gig, a 12 minute stroll from my front door? Jay Park With Victor 21 September 2013, 8pm Ticket Prices: £33.75 to £88.75 (plus fees) One of the biggest Korean solo stars, Jay Park will kick-start his very first European tour at Hammersmith Apollo on 21st September. Jay […]

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A new trend in Korean-speaking Brits?

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2013
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As an inspiration to the many British Koreaphiles out there who don’t speak the language, look no further than X-factor winners Little Mix. According to the Chosun Ilbo, a contestant performing a cover version of their song Wings on K-pop Star prompted them to release their own Korean version: Rather more proficient is 영국남자, who […]

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KAA’s 합, 合, Collaboration programme: the opening performance

by Philip Gowman 7 August 2013
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As in previous years, the KAA’s residency at the KCC launches with a varied programme of music and performance during the opening festivities on 28 August. Pre-registration is required via koreanartuk@gmail.com. See details of the main event here. And the programme for the performance is as follows: Collaborative Performance 1. ‘Petal – like’ (꽃잎처럼) Poem […]

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Gig review: Jang Kiha & the Faces + Yi Sung Yol at the Scala

by Philip Gowman 23 June 2013
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The advertised start time for the gig was 7pm, and at 8pm there was still a huge queue at the door simply to get in. Clearly the administration of rock concerts at the Scala is not bound by the same conventions as a classical concert at a mainstream venue. Inside, the down-at-heel décor is probably […]

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1956 – The birth of the hallyu?

by Philip Gowman 16 June 2013
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Not really. But there’s a nice story in the Korea Herald about what is believed to be the first ever single released by a Korean artist in the U S of A: Ok Doo-ok’s East of Make Believe – a 1956 English-language remake of Korean singer Hyeon In’s Gohyangmanri, which roughly translates as “Miles Away […]

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Korean music in June – a preview

by Philip Gowman 31 May 2013
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This article was written for London Jazz News, where it appeared in a slightly different version on 20 May. Think Korean music in 2013 is all about tubby rappers and manufactured girl bands? Think again. Coming up in June is K-Music – a festival of Korean traditional, fusion and rock music which may appeal to […]

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