buttonTenniscoats with Vidulgi Ooyoo
@ Liveclub Ssam, Seoul (7th Jun. '08)

Music Is A Universal Language

      Vidulgi Ooyoo warmed up tonight's sizeable crowd at Liveclub Ssam with a fantastic set of shoegaze-inspired post-rock from their newly released debut, Aero. Lead singer Ham Jee-hye's (who also performs with noisy rockers Juck Juck Haeseo Grunge) ethereal vocals floated nicely atop blissed out, distorted guitars on excellent tracks such as “Elephant” and set-closer “Even Freedom.” Look for the Seoul quartet to turn some heads when they perform at this summer's Pentaport Music Festival in Incheon City.

      Having toured throughout their native Japan, Australia, and Europe, this was Tenniscoats' first visit to Seoul. Billed as "Tenniscoats with special friends," Tokyo husband-and-wife duo Saya and Takashi Ueno brought along guest bassist Shinoppen and drummer Junji Kubo to help flesh out their well-received songs.

      After singer and keyboardist Saya introduced the band in simple Korean, Tenniscoats opened their 50-minute set with new track "Tengu" from their upcoming self-titled collaboration with Secai. Driven by Saya's hushed, fragile vocals, her band mates' subtle instrumentation complemented the song wonderfully and should make it a standout on the new album when it is released in August. Bells and maraca added texture to "The Theme of Tenniscoats" and had the audience, who were seated on the floor, lightly tapping their feet and slowly swaying to the delicate bedroom pop.

      Takashi sang back up vocals on "In The Sun" creating lovely male-female harmonies between him and his wife that caused a few attendees to show off their Japanese ability as they called out "kawaii." They were not the only ones to show off their linguistic prowess as Saya managed to use bits of Korean, Japanese, and English ("Thank you for listening") between each of the evening's well-played compositions.

      Takashi took centre stage to sing during a fun cover song while Saya tried her hand at shaker and drums. Possessing a slight psychedelic edge, the upbeat cut had everyone in Ssam clapping along. The show ended with a stunning version of Tan-Tan Therapy's "Baibaba Bimba." The beauty of the track lies in its innocence and simplicity and the group were able to re-create both perfectly in a live setting leaving smiles on the faces of many new South Korean fans.

      It took Tenniscoats more than eight years to get to Seoul for a performance. Judging by the boisterous applause they garnered as they finished their set, it shouldn't take that long for them to return.

report and photos by shawn

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buttonMusic Is A Universal Language (08/06/07 @ Liveclub Ssam, Seoul) : review and photos by shawn

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