Liverpool Sound City 2013: Korea Rocks – Apollo 18, Goonam, Galaxy Express: Kazimier Gardens


Liverpool Sound City 2013 welcomed a host of Korean rock bands to the Kazimier Gardens, Getintothis’ Joseph Viney reflects on one of the festival’s highlights.

Getintothis‘ last Liverpool Sound City 2013 report saw a brief reference to and comparison with Dennis Hopper‘s photo-journalist from Apocalypse Now, and at the risk of sounding a little OTT, it was somewhat apt.
Rough beard, pen in hand, cigarette in mouth, unkempt hair; all characteristics he and I shared as day three dawned. What our fictional photo-journalist DIDN’T have, however, was a banging headache and a neck swinging on rusty hinges as a result of the amazing Future of the Left set the night before.
Thankfully the sun had made a welcome return after a colder second day, and a teeming crowd filled out the Kazimier Gardens for what turned out to be the highlight of the day; the Korea Rocks showcase.
The Korean Rocks party in Kazimier Gardens was a big highlight of Sound City 2013
The Korean peninsula might only ever be in the news for the wrong reasons, what with the North’s Kim Jong-Un threatening their southern cousins with all kinds of hateful rhetoric, but any political nonsense was immediately forgotten as Galaxy Express hit the stage.
A trio with leather jackets, sunglasses and hair over the eyes, Galaxy Express hit the ground running with breakneck punk thrash and vocals that howled out across the Gardens and into Hanover St, no doubt giving the day-trippers and shoppers a real dose of that Burroughsian fear.
Goonam – exceedingly good times
A sun baked and merry crowd headbanged in appreciation as they scoffed down their Korean BBQ and free rice wine, making mental notes to check out the Lonely Planet guide to South Korea as soon as they got home.
Goonam, they of a fantastically boisterous set at Studio 2 on Saturday, replicated the previous day’s energy with another fine display of hippy pop, sci-fi keyboard blasts and one or two English phrases between songs that were endearing as all hell.
Their beautiful keyboard player couldn’t even distract from their bassist who, with his tennis headband and yellow-and-black polkadot shirt, appeared as if some twisted amalgamation of John McEnroe and an old-school Billy Corgan except…you know, Korean.
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Apollo 18 – skull-crushing marvellous prog-pop
Apollo 18 were next, and their largely-instrumental prog-punk, with its skull-bashing bass, shook the ground more than any unsanctioned nuclear missile test ever could.
We can only hope some wily promoter or the city itself can bring a similar international showcase back to Liverpool very soon.
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Pictures by Getintothis’ Matt Thomas.