Zandari Festa are showcasing six Korean bands at Liverpool Sound City this year. Keep checking the official Sound City website for the detailed schedule, but at time of writing it looks like the showcase will be sometime on Saturday 5 May in Constellations Garden.
Zandari Festa Showcase
Singer-songwriter Gonne Choi debuted in October 2010 with her first EP, ‘36.5° C.’ By 2011, Choi was selected as ‘Hello Rookie’ for the Korean TV show EBS Space Sympathy in which she gained awareness through her unique voice and guitar melodies. Her first album, ‘I WAS, I AM, I WILL,’ was nominated for Musician of the Year, Folk Album of the Year and Folksong of the Year at the 2015 Korean Music awards. Choi has also performed at major music festivals in Korea and the UK including, Glastonbury Festival, Pentaport Rock Festival, Jisan Valley Rock Festival, Jarasum Jazz Festival and Seoul Jazz Festival.
National Pigeon Unity
National Pigeon Unity (NPU) is a two-piece alternative rock band from South Korea consisting of guitarist “kidohu” and drummer “Mok”. NPU was formed in 2007. We have had more than 1000 live shows.
We’re gonna make you say “Fucking Awesome!”
Billy Carter is a Blues band based in Seoul, South Korea. They released their first EP “The Red,” in June 201 which was nominated for three 2015 Korean Music Awards: Rookie of the Year, Best Rock Music of the Year, and Best Rock Album of the Year. The band’s second EP “The Yellow” was an acoustic record full of musical sensibility. The songs added a degree of completion to the earlier identity of Billy Carter. These two drastically different EPs show the multifaceted potential of Billy Carter; they show the band’s rough and raw emotion with deep but fragile sensitivity. The group’s recent release of their debut full length album “Here I Am” shows that the band continue to grow both regarding their musical ability and the depth of their introspection.
Dead Buttons are a Seoul-based rock ‘n’ roll trio comprised of Korean guitarist/vocalist Jihyun Hong, Paraguayan/Korean drummer/vocalist Kanghee Lee and Korean bassist MJ Moleman.
A veteran of Korea’s indie scene, Hong previously played guitar for the Seoul hardcore band Combative Post as well as punk bands Sweet Guerillaz and Oi! Resolute, along with the psych- and pop-tinged garage rock act The Infamous Orchestra. He met Lee after Lee had finished his mandatory military service and the two decided to make Dead Buttons.
The band was originally formed as a trio in the fall of 2012. Showing their ambitious nature early on, less than two months after making their live debut they traveled to Tokyo in December 2012 to perform at the Japan-Korea Punk Festival. In the summer of 2013, Hong and Lee parted ways with their bassist.
Wanting a fresh start for Dead Buttons, they threw away all of their older material and began crafting new tunes as a two-piece. In October 2013, they made their first appearance at Hongdae’s Zandari Festa, an important international showcase for Korean bands, at which they caught the attention of several organizers of overseas music festivals, including Liverpool Sound City.
In February 2014, Dead Buttons issued their first EP, Whoever You Are. The five-track effort was recorded over the course of five hours. Whereas the band’s early material had more of a garage punk feel, the fantastic Whoever You Are boasts a wider sonic palette mixing garage rock, blues, country, punk, and psychedelic music to create an infectious sampler that showcases this fast-rising pair’s potential.
In the spring 2014, Dead Buttons performed several gigs in the UK in support of Whoever You Are including a stop at the Liverpool Sound City music festival. Continuing their foray into international touring, they were invited to play on the main stage of the groundbreaking V-ROX festival in Vladivostok, Russia, in August 2014, along with several prominent Korean bands such as Idiotape and Galaxy Express. In October of the same year, they were not only one of the highlight acts of that year’s Zandari Festa, but also one of only five finalists chosen to play at the Mandoo Entertainment Showcase, with a view to taking part in the SXSW festival in Texas.
2014 proved to be a very successful year for Dead Buttons, as, after winning the EBS “Hello Rookie” award for July, they were also nominated for the “Rookie of the Year” under the same title, in November.
In May 2015, Dead Buttons are performing several gigs in the UK in support of Whoever You Are including a stop at the Liverpool Sound City music festival, Brixton Windmill and Milano Expo 2015.
In summer of 2015, Dead Buttons are to go to expand the variety of activities in South Korea, in October 2015 they does have Showcase in MU:CON. They were chosen to CMJ Music Marathon program to be held in October 2016.
From April 2016 a new song of the Dead Buttons were broadcast through various channels, including the UK Radio X, the Swedish national radio. In May, they are performing gigs more than 20 times in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, France in support of Some Kind Of Youth including a stop at the Primavera Sound, Primavera Pro, Sound City, Festival Circasismic, FestEvol.
In the second half of 2016, Dead buttons ended up being the first successful album to meet local fans at Valley Rock Festival and Let's Rock Festival, one of Korea's largest music festivals. In 2017, Dead buttons reunite with the first bassist, MJ Moleman, and start working again as a trio. The bassist has made them more stable and able to show off their diverse music. They released their second album, rabbit, and they get a good response through their Japan tour.
Danny Boy + The Carriages
Danny Boy & The Carriages play their own style of music influenced by 60’s and 70’s musicians such as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Based on their influence, they have been building up their own unique sound. Danny Boy & The Carriages are aiming for the worldwide audience who is waiting for a fantastic music of their own.
Unchained is a rock band organized in Busan, Korea, in 2001. It consists of 3 members, Gwang-il Kim (vocals, guitar), Jun-won Park (guitar) and Gyu-sung Choi (bass). Based on Seattle Grunge sound, especially inspired by Alice in Chains, Sound Garden, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, the band focuses on relationships and the inner side of human beings in a heavy, gloomy, psychedelic, lyrical sound. As the name ‘Un-chained’ implies, they aim at ‘not being in any boundaries’ or ‘being released through music’, and in reality, they have been recording and producing albums by themselves in their own independent label, ‘Ginger Records’ founded in 2006, still keeping up their belief out of the mainstream.
In 2005, they released their EP [Push Me], followed by the first official album [Thorn] in 2014. The theme of this album is inspired by ‘porcupine dilemma’ of the German philosopher ‘Schopenhauer’, and they sing various stories about ‘thorns’ spreading all over the human relationships, which symbolizes loneliness, lies, hurts, temptations and desires, and even a dilemma of being a socially wantable human character, in their unique deep-heavy sound. This album was favorably received by public and critics, and nominated for the best album of the year in 2015 Korean Music Awards.