At the K-Music Festival 2013 the Korean indie/rock scene was represented by Yi Sung-yol and Kiha & The Faces. This gig was held at the iconic Scala venue at London King’s Cross and was a great dose of some Korean indie for those suffering withdrawal symptoms since the end of Korea Rocks! This gig was a seriously popular event and saw MASSIVE queues that went all the way up Gray’s Inn road! We joined the queue with 30 minutes before doors opening and the queue was already around the corner, and by the time we started shuffling into the venue we couldn’t even see the end of the queue! Inside the venue there were people above us, below us, on the stairs, everywhere! It was packed, but packed in a good way; there was still vital space for dancing!
Yi Sung-yol started the night with a very chilled-out side to Korean indie. Yi Sung-yol is considered to be one of the founding fathers of Korean Indie way back in the 90s and has been going solo for 10 years. His set was very atmospheric and emotional, presenting us with a very old-skool and classic side to indie and rock. His performances were simple and effective, sometimes just acoustic and it was good to see and hear Korean indie stripped back to basics.
It was all very chilled, the kind of gig where you would want to hold a lighter in the air and wave along to the music in unison with the rest of the audience. However, when Yi Sung-yol started playing more of his well known tunes, we suddenly got crushed by fan girls lurching forward. Yi Sung-yol is a very charismatic performer, he really draws you in with his emotions and he represented the very grown up side to rock and roll. You can also see how respected he is within the Korean indie scene, we even saw Kiha & The Faces sneaking into the crowd during his set to be amongst the audience.
Then came Kiha & The Faces, who showed a very different and modern side to Korean indie. They started the night with sad songs and kept stressing to the audience these beginning songs were meant to be sombre, but that didn’t stop the audience from rocking out at the first note. But sad vibe was soon out the window as they got to their more fun and upbeat tracks. To put it simply, Kiha & The Faces were absolutely amazing. They got the whole crowd smiling and moving in unison, and everyone had a seriously good time. When they played 그렇고 그런 사이 the whole audience instinctively raised their hand to join in the hand-dance and it was and epic moment to see so many people practically acting out our favourite Kiha music video!
Kiha’s tunes are addictive and energetic and no one wanted the night to end. The chemistry within the band was electric and even though they were a rock band, their harmonies when singing rivaled some of the top ballad bands out there! The band were all incredible, very rock and roll, you can see why they had a lot of fan girls. Ki-ha himself was an amazing performer who really got the crowds going and a very special shout out goes to the drummer who was truly sensational. His drumming was beyond this world and he moshed so hard, we’re pretty sure the size of his hair grew 3-folds by the end of the night! There were a fair amount of Ki-ha fangirls and fanboys that night, and definitely a few more by the end as everyone left on a high.
This has to be one of the funniest and most engaging nights of the K-Music Festival and it was really good to see the Korean Cultural Centre endorsing the Korean indie scene after the very successful Korea Rocks gig earlier this year. We hope that Korean indie will make a regular appearance at future KCC UK events and we do hope Yi Sung-yol and Kiha & The Faces will visit us again soon!
Don’t forget to check out our photo albums and pre-gig interviews with the two performers: