Gold Panda Live at The Brudenell Social Club- Friday 7th October
Before I talk about the gig I firstly have to make an excuse and an apology. See, originally I was never planning to review this gig, my plan had been to get shitfaced before stumbling into the night to say farewell to a friend who was fleeing country but betwixt the support and the main act I was accosted by a woman in black. "Why are you just stood here alone, dressed in black? Shouldn't you be dancing down there with everyone else?" I was dressed in black because It's slimming and I wasn't dancing because I was alone dealing with a mixture of funk induced happiness that was dealing with a melancholic thug of sadness that was threatening to beat me to death with the baseball bat of fond memories. Also I was becoming increasing drunk. To dismiss this would-be-cougar I simply stated that I was reviewing the band and it's easier to get a neutral view of a gig from the back, also that I was wearing black because it's slimming. As the woman in question to subtle attempt to seduce me ("so, shots?") I decided that even though I was drunk I would review the gig. That's the excuse.
The apology is for the fact that I continued to get drunk and parts of this review are irrelevant to actual gig. The parts that are relevant may be misremembered. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I'm like Hunter S. Thompson, and that this is "gonzo" journalism, no that's not for me to say (if people want to think that it's up to them) but it's certainly slap-dash, haphazard journalism. I promise my next review (of Craig Thompsons Habibi ) will be more sensible and not conducted whilst drunk. Thank you for your time.
I arrived at the Brudenell Social Club around 8 o'clock. If you've never been to or heard of then venue then shame on you. It's an indie-alt-centric venue in the heart of the Hyde Park area in Leeds. By the time I'd got there it was already crammed with the usual hipsters, scenesters, students and just general fucking weirdoes that normally frequent the place. The gig was sold out and there was chatter amongst the wall flowers that the gig was going to be great, not because of Gold Panda you understand but because of the support Dam Mantle. Of course the support was the real reason these bastions of coolness where here. Some of them where even going to risk their chinos and dance. Gasp. Dam Mantle had to do something pretty fucking good to win me over now.
I set up camp at the back, next to quiet area of the bar. A gentleman promoting his friends art show befriended me and the drinking commenced moments before the support. Dam Mantle walked to the stage. A wraith of an awkward bedroom DJ. The first track was uninspired and appeared to make the act dance like what can only be described as a spider having an epileptic fit. I was unimpressed. Initially. As he continued I became increasingly won over by the electron house display before me. Maybe these scenesters were right. This guy was making them dance, dammit I was almost dancing. What if Gold Panda came on and wasn't as good? His album, Lucky Shiner, is fairly mellow. What if I didn't dance? What if he sucked? What if this stranger wants me to buy a round? Wait where the fucks he gone? Dam mantle and my new friend disappeared around the same time and I was left at the bar, the room crashing towards me during the brief break to get drinks. That's when I met the aforementioned cougar lady.
Once the I was alone again and had decide that I would indeed write this review I decided to pay attention. Panda came to magical musical desk, canopied by fairy lights and a arty slide slow accompanying him. Electricity filled the room. The opening track was " You". This is the only track I can identify. I mean I could I name other tracks but I sure that he open with "You". Positive. Like 96 percent. Anyways, what happened was magical. Illuminated by fairly lights with the room became a pulsing, happy, dancing place. Panda jerk to the beat, his hood up like some electronic-dance monk. I found smiling uncontrollably. The music shift from track to track with technological precision. This was the chill out album I know and love, it had become a dance monster and the crowd was devoted. The screen behind Panda cut from images of waves to rain to industrial park. There was a sense of the exotic meeting the quintessentially British. In that former working man's club turned arty's subculture venue a little magic was create. The stage invasion mid set by a group of happy and I can only assume hammered teenage girls captured this perfectly. They danced away happily leaving the stage when they got bored or to be back with friends, they were never pulled away by bald men in yellow t-shirts. I'd like to say that "Snow & Taxis" was playing whilst this happened. I'd like to but that might just be wishful thinking.
I left that night with a smile on my face ready to enjoy the rest of my night and say goodbye in a cheerful to my friend. Also I stole a Jamie McKelvie Art Brut poster on my way out. Good times.