Listen: Expat Band The Primary with new Album ‘Arctic Roar’

The Primary Korea

Bands in Korea, well, they come and they go. Mostly they go. However, there are a handful of bands that manage to stick around and stay together. The Primary is one of those bands. The band has grown and evolved over the years.

Arctic Roar is the second album by Celtic folk rockers The Primary. It was inspired by songwriters Jon Lennon and Tony Boyd’s fascination with the ill-fated 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition. Arctic Roar demonstrates how Lennon and Boyd have evolved as song writers and arrangers since their first album, The Last Great Winter.

Arctic Roar will definitely appeal to fans of Dropkick Murphys and The Pogues. I hear a little U2 and Mumford & Sons here and there – especially an ‘80s U2 feel on the song “Collide.” Influences aside, The Primary have created a sound all of their own.

There are a lot of very talented musicians in Korea, but it takes more than talent to make a good band. The experience of playing with each other over the years has really given these guys an air of professionalism. The production value of this album is excellent. The Primary obviously take their music, audience and show very seriously.

I’ve not seen The Primary yet on this tour, but I’m especially looking forward to hearing the songs “Deadweight” and “Transatlantic” live.

The Primary also work hard at promoting their music. As a result of this hard work and talent, they’re getting radio and press attention not only in Korea but also back home in the UK and Ireland.

They played Seoul’s Zandari Festa in early October and are slated to play The HBC Festival in mid-October in Seoul. They also hope to be in Ulsan and Busan in late October or early November.

If you haven’t seen these guys, you should check them out live. Arctic Roar and The Last Great Winter are available for preview and sale on the band’s website,

Article by Richard Babin/Photo by Soo Ok Ji




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