Canada-born bellydancer Eshe and her Navah troupe have been organizing regular collaborations with Hongdae musicians since early 2013 under the moniker Shake Shop. Looking to try something a bit different for their summer offering, the lovely shimmying ladies are working with Seoul indie label Steel Face Records to create a special one-time pairing called Steel Shop.
Steel Shop will take place on Saturday, August 16 at Steel Face Rooftop 3639 in Hongdae. Operated by Steel Face Records, the rooftop concert space is a definite rarity amongst the numerous basement venues that dominate the area. Wanting to take full advantage of the outdoor surroundings, Steel Face Records, Eshe, and Navah will be hosting a free post-gig barbecue atop of the rooftop for everyone who comes to the show.
“I first heard about Steel Face Rooftop 3639 last fall during Zandari Festa from the great American punk musician Max Reynolds when he was here touring,” says Eshe. “Max said the energy there was exhilarating and I knew I had to check the space out. After viewing the rooftop venue in person, I was thrilled. There’s something about dancing under the moon and stars, kissed by the breeze, connected to the natural world that’s so primal and raw. It’s easier to slip deeper into dance, the moment, and the music.”
At Steel Shop, Steel Face Records bands Bad Trip, Patients, and Dives will all perform with Eshe and Navah. Bad Trip play a mix of psychedelic hard rock and garage rock and released a three-song single titled “Rain Drop” late last year. Accenting catchy, poppy punk tunes with bits of new wave, Patients toured in the UK this past spring to solid reviews. Dives frontwoman Heynam Sin is currently much better known as a professional fashion model, but that could change when Dives issue their debut EP of punchy, ‘70s-inspired punk tunes in the coming months.
“We worked with Bad Trip at Shake Shop a few months back,” Eshe says. “They’ve definitely been one of my favourite bands to perform with this year. I feel a deep connection to their psychedelic offerings. It’s easy to fall down their trippy rabbit hole and a pleasure to make an artistic journey together. Patients are starting to build their name internationally and I think they’re going to do well with that. They have a driving, off-beat, signature style that is easy to get into. I had lots of fun creating dances for their music. And Dives are such a rowdy, fun, throwback band. They’re a rare mix of cute without being pandering, vintage but fresh, and tough but enticing. It was really hard for me to narrow down what tracks to dance to because I love all of their material.”
She shares why she’s excited about Saturday night’s Steel Shop concert.
“The venue, the bands, the barbecue, and the dancing combined make this a show I’m excited to offer and also to see,” she says. “I always try to create a unique experience for the audience. I want them to feel like an honored guest at a one-of-a-kind event. My mother used to preach that the best gift to give is the one you most want for yourself – that’s what each Navah show is to me.”
Steel Face Records head honcho and Patients bassist Sumin Jo offers his thoughts on Steel Shop as well.
“We’re trying to make Steel Face Rooftop 3639 into a laboratory and sanctuary where independent artists can create some very interesting and exciting things,” Jo explains. “Steel Shop seemed like a really unique idea to us which is why we wanted to work together with Eshe and Navah. Dancing and rock music are always a great combination so we think Steel Shop is going to be a great party!”
To get to Steel Face Rooftop 3639, go out Exit 1 of Sangsu Station (Line 6) and walk towards Hongik University. When you come to the Vans shoe store, walk across the intersection and then turn left. Walk down the street. Steel Face Rooftop is on top of the building that’s directly across the street from Gold I and Gold II.