Sunderland band Hyde & Beast overcome travel problems to wow Korea

Hyde & Beast on stage at Zandari Festival
Hyde & Beast on stage at Zandari Festival
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A Sunderland band put their heart and Seoul into an Asian festival after a series of travel disasters.

Though they left Wearside at 7am on Friday, Hyde & Beast didn’t make it to South Korea until 3pm on Sunday, just hours before their set at Zandari Festival, the country’s largest showcase music event.

Despite being faced with one cancelled flight and one delayed flight due to fog at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the eight-piece act still managed to pull out the stops to impress industry professionals in the Far East.

“It was quite surreal after day three of no sleep,” said band member Neil Bassett from Roker. “We got to Korea at 3pm and were on stage at 8pm, so we only had time for a quick bite to eat before stage time.

“In total, we were only in Korea for 15 hours, but it was a great experience.”

Neil, who performs as a duo with Dave Hyde, as well as with the full band, said: “We took the full horn section with us, so we were an eight-piece. It was the full experience, we didn’t want to water it down.

Dave Hyde finally  on board the flight

Dave Hyde finally on board the flight

“I think at times the audience struggled to understand us when we were talking in between songs, but that was more to do with our accent, as most people speak English over there.

“We had a great response. People were coming up to us afterwards and asking if they could buy our CD. I don’t think they get many European and American acts playing there, as they tend to go to Japan and Australia instead.”

Speaking about the festival itself, Neil said: “It’s a festival and industry conference at the same time, and is like Asia’s answer to the South by Southwest festival in America. So it was a great platform for us.

“It’s been going for about four years now and they’ve started to ask more Western bands to play. They heard of us as our profile has grown quite a bit this year and got in touch out of the blue to ask us to play.

Neil Bassett in Korea

Neil Bassett in Korea

“I think they are pretty fascinated with the West and Western bands.”

The festival is the latest high profile event for the band who’ve appeared at a host of festivals around the UK this summer.

In August they released second album Keep Moving - the title track of which appeared on a national TV campaign for Prostate Cancer charity - and their recent EP was playlisted on BBC6 Music.