Gig review: The Bambi Killers w/s 21 Against, Sleepy Panda Club @ JägerBar, Swansea
Turtle Promotions are gaining a reputation for putting on quality gigs in the Swansea area, but even so, their ‘Punk Rock Night’ at JägerBar, Swansea (Saturday 15th May 2011) was full of pleasant and unexpected surprises.
My night began with a shot of blue Jägermeister (well, it was JägerBar, and the shot was also free). I found the shot to be refreshing, but somewhat lacking musically.
I hadn’t heard of Sleepy Panda Club before. They’d already started their set before I arrived, and sounded pretty good from what little I could hear outside the venue. With every step upstairs they sounded better and better; by the time I got to the top of the staircase, they were a phenomenon. The sound they created consisted of textured layers of carefully-constructed sounds, synchronised perfectly to merge beautifully, cramming more music per beat than should be humanly possible, yet somehow still allowing each element room to breathe. It’s fairly close to my definition of ‘awesomeness’, and all done live. The seven-piece band – with an arsenal of close-harmony vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and even a trumpet – describe themselves as an ‘indie synth pop [band] from Wales with a Canadian twist’. I don’t say this about everyone…they could become VERY big! Despite being the first of two support bands, they’d set an almost impossibly high standard for the night.
21 Against from Llanelli were up next. I’d seen them once before on a random night out years ago. The night out itself was underwhelming purely due to it being a quiet night in this particular nightclub. The redeeming feature of the night were 21 Against, since I was expecting the nightclub to be in ‘club mode’, not ‘live music mode’. They sounded fantastic then, and still do sound fantastic on their recordings. Unfortunately for them, some technical problems with the sound at JägerBar during their set resulted in the band not being shown off at their best, with the subtleties of the lead singer’s soulful voice being swamped by an unbalanced instrument mix, which was a shame. Still, everyone else enjoyed the set, and (with my mental audio filters in place) so did I for the most part.
Last up were The Bambi Killers, who were at an unfair disadvantage (as far as impressing me) due to me having completely mixed up their name with an entirely different band with an entirely different line-up. I realised my mistake within the first few milliseconds of their set, and was thoroughly impressed with their musical offerings. I was even amused and amazed by their cover of ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’ from Mary Poppins, which I’d usually have considered sacrilege if it hadn’t been so well done. In fact, with a few more shots of Jäger (and the inability to properly recollect Mary Poppins), I might even have been convinced that it originally hailed from the heavy metal genre!