Having never gone to an airport without the intention of actually going to a different country before, I was in two minds whether to go and be there during SHINee’s arrival in London. On the one hand, hopefully I would get some good pics and material to write about, but on the other I did feel extremely stalkerish. However, if you don’t try, you’ll never know (or some phrase similar to that).
During the hour long tube ride, I wondered if everyone girl who looked around the ages of 16-20 was also going to Heathrow. As it turns out, no one in my carriage was going to Heathrow for the same reason as I was. When I got to Terminal 4 (which everyone at the start of the day thought SHINee were coming to), I found my way to the arrivals area, and looked around for people who were holding obviously related SHINee materials, or who I could hear talking about them.
One really good thing about the day was that the Shawols who I met were all really friendly and willing to chat to other fans. There was a really nice sense of solidarity as everyone had the same interest for Kpop and Korean culture, and everyone wanted to share this with each other. Some were kind enough to let me interview them.
The first Shawols I talked to were Asher and Fury. They were super friendly to me, which was nice as I’d just arrived and a bit unsure of what I was going to do and how I was going to do it. They were able to come today as they didn’t have classes or work (though one of them was meant to be revising), and had come together from South London.
They’d come specifically to see SHINee, as they’re both big fans, but both said that they’d consider coming to greet other Kpop idols at the airport in the future. It seems that modern technology has made it extremely easy to communicate specific information fast, as they said that they’d found out the details of SHINee’s arrival over Tumblr not too long beforehand. Having gone to see SHINee at Abbey Road during the summer and to SM Town Paris, having SHINee come to do a proper concert in London is something that they definitely didn’t want to miss. Good thing they both have tickets then!
As for SHINee themselves, it seems Key is the popular choice for these two. Key’s crazy fashions has gained lots of fans it seems! They said that SHINee, and Kpop in general, is much better and more entertaining than American and European pop. The amazing dance moves, coupled with catchy songs and being able to watch your favourite idols on variety shows puts Kpop on a different level for Asher and Fury, and many other fans too.
The next Shawols I came across were Lesley and Kim. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a photo of them, woops. Both had been to see SHINee at Abbey Road, and were waiting patiently to see SHINee again at the airport. They too had been able to find out the details of the day through sites such as Tumblr and Facebook. Lesley and Kim were happy to finally have a Kpop act come to the UK, as they’ve been fans for several years. Again, Key was the popular choice with these two – it seems there’s something about the diva that people can’t resist! Luckily, they’d managed to get tickets for the concert on Thursday too, so will be able to see Key in all his dancing and singing glory. Again it’s the dancing that separates them from more western groups, Lesley and Kim said. It seems that there’s just no comparing Korea’s pop talent to ours.
Next up, I met Lucy, who many will know from having her own popular video blog on youtube. She was busy doing her own interviews, but kindly stopped for a minute to talk to me. Only blogging since June/July time this year, she’s already got her fingers in all the pies. She also managed to get tickets for the concert on Thursday, and I’m sure will have some great coverage of it afterwards.
I can’t finish this post without mentioning the organiser of the whole event – Rebecca! She had somehow managed to wrangle Shawols together in under a day so SHINee could be welcomed into the UK. She arrived with a bag full of sweets and snacks to share around, and was armed with a seriously impressive poster (which would come in handy later on!) She’d even printed out the lyrics to SHINee’s Hello, so we could greet them with a song. Thanks for everything Rebecca!
Thanks to everyone who spoke to me, really appreciate it!