Event Review | Gonne Choi at Glastonbury 2015 (MusiCube)

By Adam Riley 06.07.2015

The world of South Korean music is becoming more and more prominent here in the UK, as witnessed by the dedicated Korean Stage over at Liverpool Sound City in May, and reinforced by the addition of Juck Juck Grunzie and Idiotape to this year's Glastonbury Festival, where Gonne Choi also returned after last year's rave reviews. MusiCube's Adam Riley was there on behalf of sister show K-Pop Korner to find out why everyone has 'Gonne' crazy for this acoustic-style Korean singer-songwriter.
Image for Event Review | Gonne Choi at Glastonbury 2015 (MusiCube)
Rosa, Monster, Song for You, Arirang, Eric's Song…there were many fantastic songs included in Gonne Choi's two stage performances - an hour's set at the indoor Pussy Parlure Noveau stage on 25th June, and the same length again on Friday, 26th at Silver Hayes' Gully Outer-National. Most readers will never have heard of those tracks, and maybe not even the name 'Gonne Choi,' but from the reaction of those milling around the Pussy Palure early evening time, and those late risers that stumbled upon the early afternoon performance at the Gully area, her mix of melodic acoustic themes, powerful vocals, and sheer lyrical prowess, definitely struck the right chord with punters, MusiCube's Adam included.
Image for Event Review | Gonne Choi at Glastonbury 2015 (MusiCube)

After conducting a lengthy interview with Choi Goeun (the Korean way of writing names - surname first, and pronounced "Chweh Go Un") last year, prior to Glastonbury, unfortunately her actual live show was missed, so there was great anticipation to finally meet her and listen to the wonderful array of instant classics in person. Disappointment never entered into the equation. From the moment Gonne stepped on stage, she was simply breathtaking, and her stage presence was overwhelming, despite her somewhat shy demeanour and humble addressing of the audience, apologising for her shaky English (something that could not be further from the truth, since she is near enough fluent when chatting casually to her afterwards). On the first night, she had her hair tied up, wearing a traditional style of Korean clothing with a modern twist, and the following day it was hair down and a slinky number that made eyes pop; the sort of dress a K-Idol might wear to garner attention, yet with nowhere near as much class and grace as Gonne displayed.

Image for Event Review | Gonne Choi at Glastonbury 2015 (MusiCube)
Image aside, what about the music, though? Yes, she looked the part, and grabbed attention easily (and stole hearts in the process!), but it is somewhat meaningless without that final performance hitting home. Well, each set was an emotional rollercoaster ride, from the upbeat Monster that had feet tapping with vigour and hands drumming on the metal safety barrier in time to the drum beat, through to the fan favourite cover of Ain't No Sunshine, and even tear jerkers like Sunrise and No Energy that tugged hard on the heart strings as Gonne's smooth voice stirred up all sorts of inexplicable emotions. Then there was the powerful Storm, a song that certainly lives up to its name, with Gonne showing glimpses of her formative years as a member of a hardcore rock band back when she was younger. Throughout, there was raw energy pumping out of every pore, washing over those watching, and the temptation to shout 'encore' at the end could not be resisted, but sadly she was not forthcoming due to time limitations on the stage (although Idiotape did go against the regulations due to the crowd going crazy, so Gonne, if reading this, please consider doing an encore next time!).
Image for Event Review | Gonne Choi at Glastonbury 2015 (MusiCube)
Some new artists struggle to squeeze out a successful 30-minute set, whilst others cannot match the quality of their studio-produced albums - and examples of both those scenarios were present at this year's Glastonbury. Gonne Choi, however, showed everyone how it should be done, excelling by putting her experience and natural charm to perfect use to win over those in attendance, with the hour on each set flying by quicker than desired. A true star graced Glastonbury, and hopefully next time she will be in the UK for a nationwide tour so more people can experience her wondrous music and glorious voice.

Be sure to check out a whole host of videos and photos from Pussy Parlure and Gully over at the K-Pop Korner Facebook page.

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