Most people go to the Isle Of Wight for the weekend or over to Paris if they are feeling adventurous. Not us. We arrived at Incheon Airport,Seoul early friday morning and returned back to London Heathrow at 8.30pm Monday night. The most amazing whirlwind weekend I’ve had in a long time.
We were greeted at the airport by our host Nam Young-Ji who got us to our hotel safe and sound. First up was a little lunch and our first helping of ‘Kim Chee’ (A pickled spiced cabbage,we would be seeing a lot of this as the trip went on!). Then after a few hours off and a nice interview with F.OUND magazine it was out for dinner and drinks. The Korean BBQ was top draw. Succulent beef you cook at the table yourself. After dinner we were taken to an upstairs bar where they played some great music and the Soju (Korean drink) flowed. Upon hearing the rapturous response from the crowd to ‘Bring My Love’ coming on the stereo I remembered I’d better put that in the set! (Better late than never).
The following morning we traveled over the venue AX Korea. After a sweltering drive we were grateful that the venue was fully air conditioned. A soundcheck and a press conference later it was show time. I was expecting quite a good response after our last few trips to Korea. The crowds are always amazing. What was a surprise though was how many knew the new songs and sang along. All in all it was a great experience.’Here Comes The Sun’ with Mick on BV’s was good fun too.It was good to work with FOH engineer Mark Clements again who had us sounding brilliant.
The signing afterwards was an incredible thing.The fans were so happy to see us. It was great to see that the attention wasn’t all focused on me either. I’m pretty sure the Jim Duguid Korean Fan Club is being set up as we speak!(See also Donnie Little and Mick McDaid). We were presented with a bottle of Korean Fortified Wine by our friend Miny who I knew from EMI Records from previous trips. She explained that this was good for ‘virility’ and made you strong but it was only for men. Viagra wine anyone? After a few sips of this strange potion(not too much!)we jumped into the bus for a 4 hour bus journey to Busan which is a good bit further south than Seoul. We got there just in time to see Team GB’s mens football team crash out to South Korea!(Who else?). It was 5am by this point so after a few hours sleep it was over to the Busan International Rock Festival for soundcheck. The response from the crowd was mind blowing! 30,000 Koreans going crazy. The reaction to ‘We Could Try’ a particular highlight(most of them hadn’t heard it before!). It is a wonderful thing to know that the music has traveled so far and means so much to people out here. The show wasn’t quite over after the encore. We performed an acoustic set especially for the volunteers who’d worked so tirelessly over the weekend and deserved to let their hair down too. Drummer Jim Duguid even had them copying his dance moves like Glasgow’s answer to Mr Motivator!
The 5.30am lobby call came around very quickly but everyone was still in good spirits(or was it still drunk?) the following morning. The 6 hour drive back to Incheon was another highlight of the trip with some spectacular scenery along the way. South Korea is a beautiful country with some of the best architecture in Asia mixing with rolling tree filled hills. So there you have it. Not your average weekend away eh?
Special Thanks to Nam Young Ji and everyone at Gummi Bear Productions
The organisers,volunteers and everyone at Busan International Rock Festival and the band Human Race who supported us in Seoul
See You Soon