Concert reviews

It feels like it’s been an incredibly busy year, and as I come to write this review I realise that, much more so than in previous years, many of the things that have been memorable I haven’t had time to write about – and maybe won’t. I’ve written separately about the films it was possible […]

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Gig review: Park Jiha at King’s Place

by Philip Gowman 2 November 2017
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Park Jiha brought the 2017 K-music festival to a close at King’s Place on 25 October with a mellow set of pieces taken from her album Communion which was deservedly shortlisted for the 2016 Korea Music Awards in both the Best Crossover Album and Best Jazz & Crossover Performance categories. Park is a versatile player, […]

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Gig review: Kim Hyelim + Alice Zawadzki

by Philip Gowman 11 October 2017
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I have to confess: I was a little nervous as I set off for Dalston on a dark Monday evening. If I had a minor gripe with the opening gig of the K-music festival at the Union Chapel, billed as a collaboration between East and West, it was that there was not enough collaboration: Kathryn […]

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Gig review: Jeon Jeduk and Park Juwon at Pizza Express

by Philip Gowman 10 October 2017
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What can one say about a pair of such flawless musicians? Jeon Jeduk, blind since birth, has been compared with Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder; Park Juwon… I’m not sure who he’s been compared with, but as I listened to his set I was reminded of the stunning album Passion Grace and Fire by guitarists […]

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Gig review: Heemoon Lee + Prelude

by Philip Gowman 9 October 2017
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Last Sunday night we had the choice between two Korean performers, both known for their unusual dress sense and unique stage presence and more importantly both leaders in their respective fields. With one, the price tag was upwards of £60, for which you had to queue up at a large North London venue, submit to […]

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Gig review: Kathryn Tickell + Black String

by Philip Gowman 20 September 2017
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After witnessing so many astounding gigs at Club Inegales, where musicians from different cultures come together to create new and unrepeatable sounds, it really should not surprise me when a collaboration that looks slightly weird on paper is actually a stunning success when it happens. Collaboration, between Korean and British-based musicians, is one of the […]

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Fringe review: Ensemble SU — The Party

by Philip Gowman 31 August 2017
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Ensemble SU is a five-piece fusion group formed in 2010 and led by Jihye “JJ” Hur on 25-string gayageum with Yein Kim on haegeum, Myunghyun Park on cello, Sangjung Lee on keyboard and Deokhwan Kim playing Korean and western percussion (and not to be confused with a similarly named jazz / gugak fusion trio based […]

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Love X Stereo at the Windmill – both intimate and euphoric

by Philip Gowman 17 May 2017
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Many thanks to Annie Ko and Toby Hwang for a fantastic gig down in Brixton on Monday night. Featuring tracks from their recently-released album 37A – the first fruits of their crowdfunded project for 2017 in which they aim to release 37 songs during the course of the year – as well as earlier albums, […]

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LKL’s evening with Zion.T in Kentish Town

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2017
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On the very rare occasions when I go to a big popular music concert I usually end up wondering why. A couple of years ago I queued for ages to get into the cheap seats (£77) for Big Bang’s gig in Wembley Arena. At least they didn’t have a support act, and worked hard to […]

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The reviews of ZICO’s London gig

by Philip Gowman 12 January 2017
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The general verdict is that ZICO’s 5 January gig in Camden was 40 minutes of excellence, but as for the rest of it, well it wasn’t what people paid for. A couple of vlogs below, first from KpopSteve: and second from GZBKarma: … and a couple of reviews – from KondaKorea | MACG Magazine | […]

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K-music review: Darkness Poomba at The Place, Euston

by Philip Gowman 22 December 2016
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For the final event of K-Music 2016 we were introduced to the first UK visit of Modern Table headed by the multi-talented Kim Jae-duk, who choreographed the work as well as being an integral member of the dance troupe, though much of the time he was also front of stage singing or playing various wind […]

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Gig review: Asian Chairshot + Danpyunsun and the Sailors @ RichMix

by 앤서방 20 December 2016
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앤서방 reviews the second of 2016’s K-music festival gigs at Rich Mix  Each year I look forward to visits from Korean indie musicians to the UK. Starting with ska-punk rabble rousers Crying Nut’s thrilling London show in 2006, over the years we have been treated to some of the most interesting, exciting and original acts: […]

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Gig Review: Kyungso Park and Andy Sheppard in the Albert Hall’s Elgar Room

by Philip Gowman 9 November 2016
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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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