The Slovenia Times

Final Countdown to Laibach Concert in North Korea


Laibach, who became probably the best internationally known Slovenian band under the former Communist regime, have been repeating that they are in favour of a reunification of North and South Korea and that they are not out to provoke anyone.

The two concerts, which will also mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japanese rule, are expected to be attended each by some 1,000 people.

Little is known about what will take place at the concerts, but there have been reports of hectic technical preparations, a venue change and the censorship by local authorities of three songs: "Eat Liver", "I Believe" and the band's biggest hit "Final Countdown".

Laibach are nonetheless expected to preform some of their best known songs, along with a few covers of songs from "The Sound of Music" soundtrack as well as some contemporary and traditional Korean songs.

As reported by Slovenian news portal, the group will be playing at one of the seven theatres in Pyongyang, the most beautiful one, according to the Culture Ministry. The venue originally announced was Pyongyang's Kim Won Gyun Music Conservatory.

Laibach, named after the German name for the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, have been described as undermining through "over-identification" the totalitarian ideology that they mimic on stage.

This however requires walking a thin line and the group are often subject to criticism for their use of political and nationalist imagery.

The tour is organised by Norwegian theatre director and culture activist Morten Traavik, who directed the video for Laibach's recent hit "The Whistleblowers" and is expected to make a documentary about the tour. He was reported as saying upon arriving in North Korea that the concerts would be "an enlightenment" for both the North Koreans and the band.


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