Gig review: Kyungso Park, SB Circle + Hey String

Isn’t it refreshing when a band exceeds expectations? When you were expecting something pretty good, and you get something astoundingly good. When the newbie support band has the class to headline their own gig. OK, to call the gayageum trio Hey String a newbie band neglects to mention their success as prizewinners in Seoul Namsan […]

Gig review: Kim Doo Soo at Cafe OTO

Kim Doo Soo’s stage set-up is simple but carefully planned. The stage hand has marked out the precise place where the music stand is to be positioned, and the chair – which offers the minimum of comforts. A table to the musician’s right has some water and a surface to keep the various harmonicas; also […]

Brief review: Park Jiha at Rich Mix

Park Jiha closed K-music 2017 supported by a trio of musicians (playing bass, sax and vibes). She returned to London this year as a solo performer, presenting material from her new album, Philos, as well as older material. We also got one premiere. Park plays yanggeum (dulcimer), piri (oboe) and saenghwang (mouth organ), and when […]

Live music review: SaaWee at the Albany, Deptford

When anticipating Korea related events involving live performance, I generally try not to raise my expectations too high. That way, I don’t get disappointed. But sometimes I break that rule, usually based on past experience of one or more of the performers. Hence, when pulling together the events post for July I highlighted three events […]

Brief review: Seong-jin Cho’s Rachmaninov at the Barbican

I can’t help feeling slightly disappointed at Seong-jin Cho’s performance of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto at the Barbican at the end of March. There was no shortage of virtuoso filligree fingerwork and moments of poetry, but somehow the performance as a whole lacked passion and fire. Perhaps part of the problem was rapport between orchestra […]

E-DO at Rich Mix: a second-hand review

I know I said that SsingSsing was the gig I was most sorry to miss from the K-music festival this year, but E-DO ran it a close second. Their music that supported Over the Moon at the Edinburgh Fringe last year was totally mesmerising, even in the absence of their percussionist who had to return […]