Summers in Europe are getting better with every year–at least when it comes to Korean bands touring the continent. The IROK events listing has already been updated to reflect what remains, but here’s anyway a summary.
Starting already mid-May Korean Cultural Centre UK hosted a K-Indie Rock Showcase in London where Dead Buttons and Patients–who both toured England already in 2014–together with blues rock band Thirdstone. A few days later all three performed together again at the Liverpool Sound City festival alongside Jambinai and Monoban. And before May came to an end, Jambinai, Monoban and Dead Buttons all played the Korea Rock Concert in the Korea Pavilion at EXPO Milano 2015 in Italy.
Come June Loro’s and Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio both played at MIDEM 2015 in Cannes, France. Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio lingered in the country a while longer for recording and a couple of gigs more. And a couple of weeks ago, Idiotape and Juck Juck Grunzie came over to Europe and the UK in time for the Glastonbury Festival, where also Gonne Choi made repeat appearances.
But enough about what has already happened! July is here and while Juck Juck Grunzie’s tour is already over, more shows and festival gigs from bands that are coming up.
Branded an electronic shoegazing band, Idiotape’s setup with 2 DJs and one drummer has proven quite successful. Debut EP 0805 came out in 2010 and gained the trio enough traction to be put on the roster for the first Seoulsonic North America tour in 2011, playing both Canadian Music Week and SXSW. First full-length album 11111101 won Best Dance & Electronic Album at the Korean Music Awards in 2012 with sophomore album Tours being nominated in the same category 2015. After a US tour in 2014, Idiotape is spending the summer of 2015 playing festivals around Europe.
I was very excited about Idiotape when I first came across their music, yet for a long time I couldn’t really understand all the hype that followed with the first album. Then I saw them live for the first time and I got it. Idiotape = Awesome. And everybody dances.
June 25 – Pilton, UK @ Glastonbury Festival (La Pussy Parlure)
June 27 – Lärz, Germany @ Fusion Festival
June 28 – Tilburg, The Netherlands @ Festival Mundial
July 4 – Moscow, Russia @ Mumiy Troll Music Bar
July 5 – Moscow, Russia @ Mumiy Troll Music Bar
July 10 – Novi Sad, Serbia @ Exit Festival
July 20 – Nyon, Switzerland @ Paléo Festival
July 23 – Sines, Portugal @ FMM Sines Festival
One of the most uniquely sounding bands to come out of Korea, Jambinai’s use of traditional Korean instruments blended with hard and heavy rock has taken the band around the world since the first gig abroad at the World Village Festival in Helsinki 2012. Jambinai released a self-titled EP in 2010 and followed up with first full-length album Différance in 2012. Différance claimed Best Crossover Album at the Korean Music Awards in 2013 and at the 2015 edition of the Korean Music Awards the band was selected for the Committee’s Choice award. Just like last summer, also the summer of 2015 sees Jambinai tour Europe playing a mix of big and small festivals.
There are few bands I’ve seen live as many times as Jambinai, yet I can never seem to have enough. I caught them on the Swedish date of this summer’s tour and they never sounded as good–several new fans created just in the area where I was standing. Although I miss Dokyo, the new bassist does the job just as well. I’d advice anyone to take any chance available to see Jambinai in action.
May 20 – Brugge, Belgium @ Cactus Club
May 22 – Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Sound City
May 24 – Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Sound City
May 28 – Skopje, Macedonia @ OFF Fest
May 29 – Milan, Italy @ EXPO Milano
May 31 – Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera Sound
June 2 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Loppen
June 5 – Gothenburg, Sweden @ Clandestino Festival
June 25 – Algarve, Portugal @ Med Loulé
June 26 – Givry, France @ Les Musicaves
July 24 – Malestroit, France @ Au Pont Du Rock
July 25 – Nyon, Switzerland @ Paléo Festival
July 26 – Malmesbury, UK @ WOMAD
London Korean Festival
This year’s edition of the London Korean Festival, arranged by Korean Cultural Centre UK in collaboration with KTO and KOCCA, will be a free event that takes place on Trafalgar Square, Sunday August 9th. Food, fashion, tourism, brands, dance and much more is promised, but most importantly: music! Both f(x) and Guckkasten have been engaged for the occasion.
Modern Sky Helsinki
For the first time ever, Chinese indie music festival Modern Sky is set to take place in Helsinki. Alongside bands from China and the Nordic countries there will be 3 acts hailing from Korea: Kuang Program, Neon Bunny and Sunwoo Jung-A. Much more on this to be expected in later posts here on Indieful ROK.