KARD’s Little Oasis in London

Co-ed group KARD fills out the Electric Ballroom in London, for a fun and fresh evening for all.
All photos: Maddie Armstrong for &ASIAN.
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KARD’s Little Oasis in London

You’ve got your girl groups; you’ve got your boy groups. But every now and then a rare event occurs - and a K-pop group including more than one gender sparks out of nowhere. Should such a miracle come about, you’ll get something either consisting of an acoustic guitar and pure wholesomeness, or some alluring concoction of swagger and (often) sensuality. There’s not really an in between. KARD falls on the latter side of the spectrum, and it’s always a pleasure to see how free they are. If, perhaps, the industry was less afraid of more groups like these, the possibilities for fresh concepts, synergy, and even music styles would increase. KARD is a stellar example of this; the mix in masculine and feminine voices allows for a more dynamic sound. In short, there’s something for everyone. 

KARD’s sound is consistent in feel but evolves enough as time goes on that you could hop onto their party boat at any point and find something to enjoy. Back in 2017, when house and future bass dominated K-pop music trends, their music was dripping with tropical house. And if it wasn’t house, it was certainly tropical. The four possess the key to some blissful exotic paradise where the only law is to engage in eternal partying.

Their performance of “Ring The Alarm” at the start of the concert felt like an invitation to such a world. Always managing to keep up with music trends while staying loyal to their sound, you could pretty much pick any track from “Hola Hola” to “ICKY” and you’ll be pulled into that same cocktail infused dimension. 

As much as we’re talking about intoxication, KARD are actually very sharp on a stage. At London’s Electric Ballroom they presented slick dance moves in their routines, complimenting each other. Something to note is how every member is a centrepiece; the number of members and the nature of their group allows routines to flow in a relaxed way. No one at any time was left on the sides like a forgotten ornament. Partway through the gig the four also spent a good few minutes performing dance covers individually to the overflowing crowd.

BM hilariously set the mood for the show on X (formerly Twitter) earlier that day:

The rapper is famous for being quite the character on both social media and on stage. It’s worth noting he’s used memes for the greater good; in 2020 he released a merchandise line with his “Big Tiddie Gang” motif to put money towards breast cancer research, and later another clothing line with proceeds towards a bullying prevention movement. 

When the four weren’t chatting to the fans for minutes at a time, they were performing their famous hits such as “Oh NaNa” and “Don’t Recall”, as well as crowd favourites “ICKY” and “Dumb Litty”. We also got to see some great duets; the girls grooved to “Fxxk you” while the boys gave us “Been That Boy”. While it was definitely a different dynamic to when the four assembled together, the crowd seemed just as happy to see either subunit. 

KARD left us feeling refreshed, much like the green light the stage was often shrouded in. A crowd is a good indicator of a performer’s ability, and everyone in the room that evening was having a good time. KARD’s performances are unquestionably stellar - we just want to see more of them.

KARD can be found on Instagram here, and on all major streaming platforms.
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