2018 is shaping up to be a great year for surf-inspired band, Say Sue Me. They have become one of South Korea’s ‘break-out’ bands, touring major cities and receiving rave reviews from major media outlets. They’ve even been booked to play at SXSW 2019! We were lucky enough to catch them for an interview before they embarked on their overseas tour (available in print in our November magazine or on the Inspire Me Korea blog soon) as well as go and experience a live show! Korean bands performing overseas is still somewhat of a rarity, so we were lucky that Say Sue Me were able to play here.
For all that has gone right for Say Sue Me this year, they experienced a slight setback during their UK tour. Bassist Jaeyoung, had to fly home due to a family emergency and so they had to find a stand-in at short notice. Our thoughts are with Jaeyoung and his family. Sumi made reference to the fact the temporary bassist might just be a genius, having learned 14 songs in a day! He certainly did a stellar job. Kudos! They also had a late venue change, but all was well in the end.
Having unexpectedly turned up too far too early (the times on the door weren’t the same as what was advertised online!), we were pleasantly surprised to catch the members making their way to the venue. Perhaps we detected a hint of nerves at the time; Byungkyu and Changwon were quiet, but Sumi said thanks for supporting the band which we appreciated 🙂
The supporting act was a 5 member local group called Hairband, who played their own brand of grungy and experimental punk-pop. We were impressed with the first few tracks they started their set with; the melodies and layers of vocal harmonies worked well. However, the sound quality from the microphones didn’t do them much justice, at times it was difficult to tell what the lyrics were, and unfortunately, this issue also affected Say Sue Me’s performance afterwards.
It was exciting to see Say Sue Me play an intimate gig! We were very proud to see them shining on the stage and couldn’t stop smiling knowing that we were witnessing a truly remarkable moment in this band’s history. We weren’t sure what the turnout would be, but a decent sized crowd arrived. It just goes to show the increasing number of music fans that are discovering them now, resonating with the ideas expressed in their songs.
They played a selection from [Where We were Together] and some older material. [Where We were Together] is our favourite Say Sue Me album to date so it was amazing to hear it played live. The instruments sound so much more powerful in real life compared to listening on CD or vinyl. It takes a life of its own, filling all corners of the room with the electric energy of the jangling guitars and booming drums. Sumi’s vocals were a little muffled at times from the mic that was available, but the familiar breezy feeling was there. ‘I Just Wanna Dance’ mixed things up at the right time, with the high energy riffs piercing the air. There was a lovely poignancy in the way ‘Sorry that I’m Drunk’ was delivered. It was a little rough around the edges, but it was perfect for the moment. You could feel the audience hanging on every word and note. ‘Coming to the End‘ was similarly impressive. The mix of old school rock and roll and raw blues was fantastic. It represents a rollercoaster of emotions extremely well and it was a definite highlight of the night.
Sumi gained confidence as time went on, and interacted with the audience a lot more during the later stages, being the key English spokesperson. It must be challenging to maintain energy levels during a packed tour schedule so we applaud her efforts in shouldering the responsibility in this role.
Byungkyu was fully immersed in the music, he was bobbing his head so much during some of the set that we were worried his glasses might fall off! The audience seemed appreciative too, and we were glad to see that some of them went to buy the merch that was on sale – something that is very important to supplementing the income of bands.
It’s always a good feeling when they play the song you want them to play; when Sumi said they were going to do a cover from their covers album, our thoughts immediately went to ‘Dreaming’ (originally by Blondie). When they started the intro to that very song, it was immensely satisfying!
With this most recent record, Say Sue Me have found something special. They have made music that means something, music that feels alive. Never change, Say Sue Me. Keep playing material that tells your stories.
We hope that they keep gaining more fans and that they come back for another UK tour soon!
Enjoy the rest of the tour dates and have a safe trip back to Busan!
In article images source © LLee. 16.10.2018. All rights reserved. No reproduction of images without permission.
Featured image source: © Say Sue Me. 02.08.2018. Image provided by Damnably Records. Credit: Jeongran Park.
© Damnably presents: Say Sue Me Review. 29.10.2018. Inspire Me Korea.