The versatile Yoon Band plays London

Saharial introduces the talents of the Yoon Band, which will be performing in Trafalgar Square on 8 June

Yoon Band

When I heard that the Yoon Band was coming to the UK for two gigs in June, I was almost jumping round my room with excitement. That my room is rather small and I suffered a few blows to the knee, bears testament to the reputable talent heading our way.

To many K-pop fans, the band’s founder and lead vocalist Yoon Do Hyun is best known for hosting the KBS music and talk show Yoon Do Hyun’s Love Letter. The show that has a wide and faithful audience, and the format attempts to be diverse and encouraging of singers ranging from popular gasu promoting an album to new talent wanting to prove themselves. Yoon Do Hyun often duets with the guesting singers and the show has seen acts from Tiger JK to DBSK perform. There is of course more unfamiliar territory to explore to be able to understand the place the Yoon Band has in Korean music history.

The Yoon Band (YB) itself consists of 4 musicians – vocalist Yoon Do-hyun (Skitter D.H), guitarist Baby J (Huh Jun), drummer Jin (Kim Jin-won) and bass guitarist Taehee (Park Tae-hee), and they first appeared on the scene in 1994. With 9 albums, countless gigs and performances since then, they were the first Korean band to tour Europe in 2005 and release a UK single as well as have sell out solo concerts in New York.

It was back in 2002 however that they became Korea’s favourite rock band with their renditions of Oh, pil-seung Korea (Oh, victory to Korea) and Arirang during the Korea-Japan World Cup game. Combining rock music with traditional instruments, along with hip-hop, ballads and popular styles, they do not always receive critical acclaim for their work, but they have maintained and built up their following over the years and emphasised they are in the business of making music and not money.

2003 was a good year for them award-wise, for not only did they win the best music awards from KBS, MBC and SBS but they also won the World Peace Music Award (WPMA) for their activities in promoting human rights. They are politically active too for issues such as the rights and status of North Koreans in Japan and protesting against the activities of the American army, a passion which is reflected in their energetic performance style and enthusiasm for live music.

Here are some samples:

Galichi Chomma (Rock)

Sarang II (ballad)

MV for 1178 used in OST for the film Hanbando (Korean Peninsula)

The Peel, KingstonYoon Band will play two dates in the UK. The first will take place on June 6th at the Peel in Kingston, south-west London (right). The support acts have been confirmed as London-based punk band Steranko and LA based Korean electronica artist Tomi Kita. Tickets for this event are available now by phoning the venue and placing a credit card order. The number is 020 8546 3516 and tickets cost £7. Tickets will also be available on the door and will cost £10.

The band will also be playing at around 5pm at the Dano Festival event in Trafalgar Square on June 8.

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