Kpop to Cause BIGBANG in Wembley this December

One of South Korea’s biggest cultural exports, before PSY set the world ablaze in the style of Gangnam,, is about to hit the UK for the first time this December. BIGBANG, composed of G-Dragon, TOP, TAEYANG, DAESUNG, SEUNGRI have just announced a date at the Wembley Arena on Saturday 15 December as part of their BIGBANG ALIVE GALAXY TOUR 2012.

Tickets for the show will go on sale from Friday 26 October, and will be available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.livenation.co.uk

According to the badly written press release, BIGBANG has “made huge hit with many songs including ‘Last Farewell’, ´Haru Haru´, ´Sunset Glow´, ´Tonight´ after ‘Lies’ announced in 2007”. They’ve also “changed the trend of Korean music scene by exerting considerable influences on fashion as well as music. BIGBANG has led the trend in music and fashion by showing the everyday style costume on the stage, doing away with such stereotypes of stage costume presented by existing singers.” We only hope PSY and his chums can start a similar trend.

The following BIGBANG EPs and albums are available in the UK:

    

MBC Cultural Festival hitting London on 23 June (4minute, Exo K, Norazo)

Kpop addicts get ready for the event of the year; the MBC Cultural Festival has confirmed a date in London at the indigo2 on 23 June – and tickets go on sale tomorrow (8 June) from 10am and priced at a mere £17.50! So what exactly is it? To be fair, we haven’t got a clue. And neither does the venue, nor the ticket agent Ticketweb, both sites are completely void of information – though the latter does let you buy tickets (click here!) let’s hope more details are revealed soon.

Word on the internet is that the event will feature all girl group 4Minute, boy band Exo K and Norazo, whoever the hell that is. The ticket site promises ‘cultural performances’ as well as a ‘k-pop concert’, so let’s wait and see exactly what they have in store.

UPDATE: The internets were correct! 4Minute, EXO-K and Norazo are confirmed to be performing!

United Cube: UK’s First K-pop Showcase Hits London this Monday

United Cube will feature 4Minute, B2ST and G.NA

South Korea’s 4Minute, B2ST, and G.NA of CUBE Entertainment , will be heading to the UK this December for the first ever K-Pop Showcase in the UK. ‘United Cube in London’ will take place at London’s O2 Brixton Academy on Monday 5 December. United Cube tickets will be available from www.livenation.co.uk.

‘United Cube in London’ is a joint production with CUBE Entertainment and Live Nation. This is the first K-Pop showcase in the UK and as a result, is drawing attention from entertainment industry around the world.

The first ‘United Cube Concert’ was held in Seoul in August 2011. The following show at Budokan in Tokyo, Japan, attracted over 10,000 fans and received widespread acclaim amongst critics and fans alike all across Asia.

“K-pop has arrived in the UK. Cube is honoured and proud to present our artists in Europe. It means a lot to all of us,” said Hong Seung Sung, the CEO of CUBE Entertainment. And he added “This will be the chance to light the fire and mark a new phase in K-pop.”

Yoon Du Jun, the leader of B2ST, also said, “We know lots of European fans have been waiting for this show. We are really happy and looking forward to having the show in this great venue where many respectable singers have performed. We will do our best to make it a memorable show.”

Here’s some 4Minute, mostly for your visual pleasure:

SHINee: The London 2011 Interview

SHINee: (l-r) Taemin, Jonghyun, Minho, Key and Onew

When tickets went on sale for SHINee‘s first UK performance, at the Odeon in Leicester Square for the London Korean Film Festival 2011, servers were unable to keep up with demand and the website for the venue, one of London’s premier spots, crashed in seconds and remained down for a further five hours. Fans had already been going crazy since the boys touched down at Heathrow airport, where they were mobbed by over excited fans. Were SHINee upset about the whole experience? We managed to get some time with the group, away from the sea of crazed fangirls and found out how they found their experiences in London, what they think about K-pop taking over the world, and their taste in women. Enjoy, share and link back to our site.

This interview has since been translated by fans into Japanese and can be read here.(←日本語)

Parts of this interview, with additional quotes from the band and live photography from the London show will be printed in NEO Magazine, issue 94 – out 26 January across the UK.

Welcome back to the UK! We heard there was an incident with fans at Heathrow when you arrived. Does this kind of thing happen to you a lot? What is the craziest thing fans have done to you?

Onew says:
Sometimes when there are many fans who are cheering, it happens to be crowded when fans are coming in all at once. But I am always appreciated with it.
Thank you for cheering us up, but I am worried that they might get hurt.

Jonghyun says:
I think the airport is the first place where we can meet the fans of the country we visit, that’s why the fans are more enthusiastically cheering us up. It is pleasant because we are also pleased to meet them.

Minho says:
As soon as we arrived at Heathrow airport, we were very pleased and surprised to see that many fans were enthusiastically welcoming us. I am very appreciated with that many fans welcome us from the airport whenever we go abroad for the concert. Since the fans welcome us from the moment we arrive in the new place, it raises us up.

Key says:
I am very happy that fans enthusiastically greet us. I think it is because the airport is where we can face with the fans of the country for the first time.

Taemin says:
It was memorable to see the fans are enthusiastically cheering with holding Korean placards.

Please introduce yourself, and tells us a fun fact about another member of the group.

Onew says:
This is Onew.
I like fun things and I always like to sing merrily.

Jonghyun says:
This is Jonghyun.
To tell you about the members, Minho is very competitive and Onew is such a sleepyhead.

Minho says:
This is Minho. It’s great to meet the UK fans. I hope to see you very often.
I like sports, including football. I tend to be very competitive as Jonghyun said.

Key says:
This is Key.
I am a kind of person who has various colours.

Taemin says:
This is Taemin.
It is great to meet the UK fans.

Please teach us an interested fact about Korea as well as a Korean phrase!

Onew says:
Korea boasts the fastest internet speed!
And here’s a Korean phrase for you; the little pepper is always the spiciest!

 Jonghyun says:
Korean people are kind!!!
.

Minho says:
Please visit Korea!
.

Key says:
Although Korea is small country…
it is very strong!

Taemin says:
There are many things to play with in Korea!
And here’s a korean phrase; a Spider that casts a web eventually traps a fly.

K-pop has become really popular recently, why do you think Korean music has suddenly began to put South Korea on the map?

Onew says:
As the internet develops…
…there are more opportunities for people to experience K-pop artists.

Minho says:
Yes, like Onew said, the internet is why Korean music is becoming more popular.
.

Jonghyun says:
Definitely the development of the internet.
Also performing live in other countries has also helped boost K-pop.

Taemin says:
All these things!
They’ve created great opportunities for people to experience other cultures and music.

Is SHINee influenced from any previous Korean artists? If so, who?

Onew says:
All the seniors from our management company SM Entertainment. They opened the doors of opportunity for us. Because of them we are able to appear on the global stage, beyond Asia. And we were also able to meet fans in London.

Jonghyun says:
I was influenced by many seniors.
Personally, WHEESUNG and Naul.

Key says:
Yes, it’s gotta be our seniors from SM Entertainment, our management company.
.

Tell us about “SHINee Trend”! What brands are involved to make the SHINee look?

Onew says:
I think the current trend is important, but it is more important to have an eye and the sense to look ahead.

Jonghyun says:
Finding something that brings out the strength of your body is important.
.

Minho says:
I believe that it is important to find own charms and strength that can be attracted.
.

Key says:
It is essential to find style that matches to you.
.

What fashion advice can you give to wannabe fashionistas?

Onew says:
I think it is better to wear something that can show one’s charms rather than just following trends.
.

Key says:
Find your own personality!
.

How did it feel to be the first Kpop artist to perform at the Abbey Roads Studio?

Onew says:
I feel like dreams come true that nobody expected us to have. I was very thankful and happy.

Jonghyun says:
We will reward you with better performance.
Thank you!

Minho says:
I was very thrilled and happy. I will keep trying my best to become a singer who let other people know about SHINee and Korea.

Taemin says:
It was great honor, and I feel like it wasn’t true.
Thank you!

Which other famous places would you love to play around the world?

Onew says:
There is no specific place, but I’d like to perform at the various stages around the world. Regardless of the size and the region, wherever we can sing our songs, I will be happy to sing.

Jonghyun says:
Name of the stage and the size are not matter.
Anywhere in the world is fine.

Minho says:
I also think that there is no specific place, but like to perform in various regions. Anywhere in the world, if there are fans who like SHINee, I’d like to perform on the stage.

Key says:
If it is where we can go, we’d like to go anywhere.
.

Could you speak Japanese before you joined SHINee? Have you found any fun ways to learn? For example, do you listen to Jpop to help you learn Japanese? (If so, who are your favourite artists to learn Japanese from)

Onew says:
I could not speak Japanese at all before I joined SHINee.
However, I used to listen to J-pop when I was young.

Jonghyun says:
I couldn’t speak Japanese…
But there’s a lot I could learn from animation and cultural experiences.

 Minho says:
I started learning Japanese as we prepared for entering Japan. I learned many things while I was talking with Japanese staffs in Japan.

Key says:
I like to watch Japanese dramas and listen to Japanese music and it was very helpful for me to learn Japanese.

Taemin says:
I started learning Japanese by watching Japanese movies or animations as we prepared for our activity in Japan.

You recorded the reality TV show Shinee’s YunHaNam, where you dated older women. What is your ideal type of lady?

Onew says:
There’s nothing special – I just like someone who likes me.
.

Jonghyun says:
I think it is bit changing.
But I like someone feminine who sometimes pretends to be naive and has little jealously.

Minho says:
I don’t have a specific type…
…but I like someone feminine.

Key says:
Kaya Scodelario.
[Does that mean Key’s a Skins fan?! – Tom]

Taemin says:
Emma Watson.
[think it’s official, SHINee like British girls ;) – Tom]

It’s nearly 2012, do you have any new year resolutions?

Onew says:
SHINee’s new album will be released in 2012.
We will show our new side and new music.

Jonghyun says:
Let’s try to be easy.
[speak for yourself, mister… – Tom]

Minho says:
We will try harder in 2012.
.

Key says:
Let’s enjoy!
.

Taemin says:
To respect myself and be responsible.
.

What plans do you have for 2012?

Onew says:
Please look forward to our new music and performance!
.

Jonghyun says:
As a team, we would like to have a wide sphere of activity with the whole world as our stage and I personally wish that participation in terms of music is higher.

Key says:
I believe that we are able to show you to perform with the new music and on the stage as well as in various fields. Please give us your anticipation.

Taemin says:
I would like to present our music and performance to many people.
.

Do you think we’ll see a proper SHINee concert in London any time soon?

Onew says:
If we are given a chance…
…we will be able to hold a concert.

Jonghyun says:
If there’s a chance, I think it would be a joyful concert where we can enjoy the show with fans.

Minho says:
If we are given a good chance, the time will come when we will hold our concert in London. Please give your love to us till then.

Key says:
I believe that we will be able to perform in London some day.
.

Do you have any final messages for UK readers?

Onew says:
Thank you for surprising us with many things and making us feel happy.
We would like to come more often in the future.

Jonghyun says:
Please give your interest in SHINee and enjoy our music.
Thank you!

Minho says:
Thank you for always supporting us.
We will do our best to meet you as often as possible.

Taemin says:
I really appreciate all of your support.
Please continuously love SHINee.

Key says:
Thank you for welcoming and loving us.
SHINee will try our best!

Visual Kei and Kpop Collide in Camden This February

(l-r) Kaya, Satsuki, Storyseller and Choi Soo Min

Japan’s visual kei rockers Kaya and Satsuki will share a stage with South Korea’s all girl pop-rock unit Storyseller, as well as the country’s crossover pop pianist Choi Soo Min at the Camden Underworld in London on Tuesday 21 February 2012. Will it be a match made in heaven? We’ll have to wait and see, but it will certainly be a match for the wealthy – tickets, which go on sale from 14 November, are set at £25. Let’s hope that price tag doesn’t put the average music fan off from attending.

This will be the first time any of the artists have been part of a European tour, as well as one of the rare occasions where all four will perform on the same stage. In mainland Europe Kaya and Satsuki are touring independently from Storyseller and Choi Soo Min.

Kaya is a respected name amongst the underground visual kei scene in Japan and he (it’s not a typo) was originally signed to a record label belonging to Mana, one of the biggest figures in the genre.  Kaya was also part of the darkwave duo Schwarz Stein, Isola and Meties. Satsuki was the vocalist of the visual kei unit Rentrer en Soi, whose CDs were released here via Gan Shin Records. He’s also had one of his songs feature as the opener to the Japan-only PSP title Amnesia, and the film Cool Blue.

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