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Panda Kopanda Scottish Tour...(please read!)

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Panda Kopanda

Belfast Indie Band Touring Scotland April 2005

Tuesday April 19th Drummonds, Aberdeen

With Arrow Speed and Stranded

Thursday April 21st Nice n Sleazys, Glasgow

With Saintbob and Reverse The Trend

Friday April 22nd Q-Bar, Leith Street, Edinburgh

With Elysium and Niall Connolly

For MP3s and more information about Panda Kopanda, please visit www.purevolume.com/pandakopanda

The band would love to do any interviews for local fanzines or websites, and we would encourage writers to come down and write a review. Email us and well see if we can get you on guestlists.

Also, if anyone can offer us floor space in Aberdeen (perhaps the other bands? Sorry if I got the names wrong) wed be grateful. Weve got blow-up beds and sleeping bags.



Panda Kopanda Biography

Panda Kopanda was born out of necessity in the spring of 2002. However, the band did not exactly appear overnight. It gradually emerged, kicking and screaming, as the result of a great deal of sweat, tears and emotional trauma.

The Panda Kopanda story had its origin in the first summer of the 21st century, with an unexpected phone call from singer/guitarist Gavin Reid to drummer/fiddler David Agnew. They had been aware of each others existence whilst sharing bills with their respective previous bands Miasma and Cleverdoll. Davids GCSE revision was put on the backburner as they got together with Jamie, a talented but wayward bass player, to form Gohan. Together they embarked on the local gig circuit, introducing their three-minute pop-rock ditties to a smattering of bemused punks in Belfasts dingiest beer-stained venues.

The substitution of Stephen Henry (now with Clone Quartet) on bass added a lateral element to the equation. This was soon followed by Gavins suggested acquisition of Jonny Agnew (as keyboardist/guitarist/cellist/vocalist) which was met with limited enthusiasm from his younger brother. However, Jonnys multi-instrumentalist-plate-spinner talents soon became a permanent fixture.

As the band continued to follow a learning curve that was shaped somewhat like a roller-coaster, they managed to conquer their motion sickness long enough to commit their first recordings to tape. The demo EP was released under the new name of Panda Kopanda. This was the title of an early 70s Japanese anime film and somehow seemed to fit with the bands skewed ethos. However, soon after the EPs completion Stephen departed for London to become a wizard in the black art of knob-twiddling.

Following an exhaustive and unsuccessful auditioning process, the search for a new bass-player brought Gavin back to his old habit of phoning virtual strangers and asking them to join his band. He knew of John Mills musical background (with The Mandelbrot Set) through family acquaintance, although they had never actually met. Following a brief phone call, John checked out the bands demo and, as he was looking for a change of direction at the time, borrowed a bass guitar and became the bands new bassist/producer. Panda Kopanda, as we now know it, was about to begin in earnest.

The current incarnation has gigged relentlessly in Ireland and Scotland and has been recording continuously in their home studio. The DIY ethos has become pretty much a way of life for the band, awash in a sea of jack leads, cheap microphones and CDRs. Panda Kopanda have been constantly refining and reworking their material and carrying out twisted experiments involving various pieces of musical equipment and random household objects. The result is a much more challenging and diverse output than was hinted at by the early recordings.

In recent times Panda Kopanda have turned down one contract from an Irish independent label and also been the object of some tentative, amorous advances from a major. However, they decided to put out their first proper release The Letting Go EP on Howl Records - a local label who share the bands own grass-roots approach and scruffy attitude.

Gavins electric-shock jittering stage persona has become a familiar feature on the live circuit, expertly embellished from all possible angles by Jonny. Meanwhile the off-kilter rhythm section of David and John remain inextricably fused together like Siamese twins of doom. One of the bands incendiary live shows was described by BBC Radio Ulsters David OReilly as sonically blinding, while Alternative Ulster magazines Phil Crossey said their songs possess a beauty and emotion that makes them unique among local acts. Scotlands Is This Music? magazine claimed that they provide a wonderfully wonky take on indie rock mixing huge harmonies, mountain-sized choruses and almost clockwork drumming to stunning effect. Colin Carberry of Hot Press said beneath the well-spoken and wholesomely indie exterior youll find a four-piece packing serious heat.

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