Beats, Youth & 2014: Midnight on Seoul NYE

By Giacomo Lee. Read the dark side to Seoul city in his novel Funereal, out now on Amazon UK & US.

In support of one of the best albums of 2013, Youth!, dance duo Glen Check held a special countdown show in Seoul on New Year’s Eve. The packed out venue was Blue Square beside Hangangjin Station, a modern venue more used to hosting musicals than indie gigs.

The so-called Young Generation show started after 9, with Glen Check performing their first set as a band set-up, playing their more verse-chorus-verse tracks with guitars, synths and drums. The background screen that provided an epic and spacey title sequence to the group was used throughout, playing out specially made videos full of colour and Atari graphics.

After a 15 minute intermission, the only support act of the night played their set, a band called WHOWho (후후) who, like the headliners, only sang in English, mimicking Alex Turner down pat. Think the Arctic Monkeys paying occasional homage to Daft Punk in slow talkbox mode.

After WHOWho, the Glen Check boys returned without their drummer and dressed down in basketball tops. This was time for the DJ set of the show, with a medley of Glen Check tracks cut up and dipped in acid, hitting hard like Simian Mobile Disco at their best. Exhilarating stuff, although it was too ravey for an 11pm crowd, being much better suited for the early hours of 2014. With no alcohol on sale, you had to be in the right mood for the beats, and most people were just waiting for the countdown to begin. They should have DJed after midnight, not before.

The countdown itself was seen in by both Glen Check and WHOWho letting off confetti on stage, and followed by an encore of two songs which, disappointingly, had been played earlier in the night. I was looking forward to hearing ’84 getting an airing, but their standout single only made an appearance in remixed form during the DJ gig. Still, count me as a definite YES for their next NYE show, and any Glen Check show in the year ahead.

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