The members of Bursters did not have any particular expectations when they arrived to the UK for the first time ever. “For years, I’ve wanted to come to the UK; now that I’m here, everything is so new to me… and this is our first time outside of Korea (laughs) so being here is amazing. Now that we are touring here, we are just amazed at how good it’s been so far,” Roh Dae-gun told us. With a bit of luck for the band, everything did turn out for the best; they seem to have even been blessed by the infamous British weather. The band was first bestowed with clear skies, and then welcomed by the UK crowd with open arms.

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Photo © Jinny Park Photography for View of the Arts 

Prior to storming the ULU Live stage in London on July 18th, Bursters performed in Norwich, Birmingham, and Brighton. “UK audiences are really awesome!” exclaimed Roh Dea-gun. “…and the Brighton Pier, that one is my favorite” added Ahn Jun-yong with a smile when being asked about the seaside city. They both were astonished that even though this is their first-ever tour in the UK, the crowds in the aforementioned cites were familiar with their repertoire and were very responsive to whatever was happening on stage. That hardly seems surprising; what Bursters brought to the London show was on another level. With their positive energy and charisma, the band pulled the audience into something that one could only call a tornado.

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Photo © Jinny Park Photography for View of the Arts 

At 9:15 pm, Bursters made their way to ULU Live’s stage with confidence and, after introducing themselves to the screaming crowd, swiftly kicked off their performance with Hero, a song from their latest single called Barriers. With dominant drumming from Jo Tae-hee, whose skill can easily be compared to Mötley Crüe’ Tommy Lee (with some extra hard work he might even reach the level of Tommy Ramone), along with impressive screaming and vocals by Roh Dae-gun and powerful guitar bursts by Ahn Jun-yong, Lee Gye-jin and Jo Hwan-hee, the band brought about a proper musical hurricane. With no interruptions, the group played Scarface and Here I Am from their first full-length album Live in Hope; listening to the vicious delivery of their guitar strings, the audience felt swept away, almost prompted to jump on stage and headbang along with Bursters. Before moving to their new song Hot Summer with its clean post-rock tone, the band played Whenever You Call Me. The biggest surprises of the night were two unexpected covers: BTS’ Euphoria – interestingly enough, the rock version sounded more entertaining than the K-pop original – and a rendition of Linkin Park’s New Divide, an oldie from 2009 which brought the audience heart-rending memories of the late Chester Bennington.

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Photo © Jinny Park Photography for View of the Arts 

It is easy to hear that Dae-gun’s vocal abilities are more than impressive; with no formal training but with unquestionable natural talent propelling his screaming technique, day in and day out, during the rehearsals and concerts, Dae-gun simply delivers. “I just sing and scream (laughs). I don’t train, I just do it,” he told us. Even if he makes it sound simple, it is clear that the artist has build up his vocal cords and vocal muscles as well developed his own ‘invisible’ screaming method through years of experience, and the results can now be heard in all of Bursters’ songs.

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Photo © Jinny Park Photography for View of the Arts 

The second part of the Bursters’ gig kicked off with a more subtle track called Dreamer, followed by another new song Arabian Night. The highlight of the night was their superb performance of Barriers in which they tackled topics such as discrimination and capitalism, and they also sang about barriers/walls we all have to tackle in order to live a better life. The song was followed by Falling into the Sky and Lost Child, from their 2015 single album Lost Child, which drew the crowd back into even more headbanging and jumping. After almost an hour and a half, and to the fans’ loud cheering, Bursters said adieu with their final two songs: Scandal and Disappear.

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Photo © Jinny Park Photography for View of the Arts 

There is no doubt that Bursters are the future of Korean Rock. Their bold, charismatic performances in the UK, including their performance in London, were packed with energy, a proper introduction and the first demonstration of their greatness on UK grounds. With their powerful shows, they proved to the audience that they care about what they do and the entire package made them a pleasure to listen to, making it absolutely clear that Bursters are the next big thing.

Rating: 5 stars

 

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Written by Maggie Gogler

Edited by Sanja Struna

All photos © Jinny Park Photography for View of the Arts (All Rights Reserved)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About View of the Arts

We are enthusiasts of the arts, passionate about cinema, theatre, and literature. Maggie is a freelance film producer, production manager and she also works with children. Sanja is a freelance translator, occasional writer and a perpetual dreamer. Film is her first and longest-lasting love. Roxy is an Arts Journalist, who writes for several magazines and websites.

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