And why the hell not! Because although it may be a little while till the real Canada day, we’ve signed not one, but two Canadian bands in the last month (with new releases up for pre-order today) -and we want to celebrate! Because with pop-punk upbeat champs Acres of Lions (for fans of Tellison/Get Up Kids), and math-pop gurus Oh No! Yoko (think Tokyo Police Club) both in London town, it seems the right thing to do – especially as we couldn’t find any caribou…
First up, Oh No! Yoko are playing at The Camden Black Heart at 10pm as part of their mammoth 35 date European tour, as well as putting up the pre-order for new 4 track 7″ ‘Sorrow’. It’s brilliant, I promise you – and well worth a purchase… But if you don’t believe me, check out this hot cut Mimi Ashi….
Next up it’s Acres of Lions, on at midnight at Camden Barfly – who release thier new album Collections late November through Fierce Panda and us! Sounding something like a joyous stream of good pop punk feeling and a world of big, handsome balls out fun, the ex-touring members of Against Me and The Set have not only got the album up for sale, but a rather nice best-of sampler EP for free download, and a great video!
You’ve heard their free single, seen them at TGE and here now is the heart achingly ace Glow Kit byGlow Kit - a slice of power pop so hot this album is all over in under 26 minutes, even though there’s 14 tracks involved. Go purchase if you like epically cool albums in hand-spray-paintedGLOW-IN-THE-DARK sleeves. Only 100 of the ltd edition ones exist, and they almost killed Tom AC/DSleeve. Our shop is the place!
Rather than me wax lyrical, why not listen to wise words – here from the good folks at Blue Walrus: “A record like this sounds incredibly vibrant; they could write these kinds of songs in their sleep, but not a single one sounds tossed off, and Head Factory, the song which was used to flag the album before release, is merely the tip of the iceberg. Do You Reallyand Misunderstood are the songs on which the band sound the most raucous, but the entire album is filled with an infectious, feel-good energy. Glow Kit write songs simply for the pleasure of making music, and it’s a noble ideal that they deserve plenty of credit for.”
Wanna hear another choice cut from the record – oh of COURSE you do…
It has recently been brought to my attention, via the handsome Sam Isaac who just last night supported the Spinto Band as part of their birthday celebrations, that Fierce Panda Records is 15 this year… and while no doubt there will be a milieu of tributes across the web to a label that has brought us the likes of Idlewild, Kenickie, A Hundred Reasons, 3CR, Llama Farmers, Seafood and more – I was keen to throw my own little bit of nostalgic loving towards what I see as one of the most influential labels (in my life anyway) and, quite frankly, one of those institutions that without – Alcopop (and I’m sure a lot of labels like us) may be an awful lot poorer for, if here at all…
My love affair with Mr Bongo and his lot really begun back when I was just out of 6th form, and already heavily into my alt/indie scene, I happened across the ‘Dead Cheap’ Fierce Panda sampler for 3 quid in (I believe) spinadisc records in Coventry. Already vaguely knowing the label, I snapped it up and it literally became my favourite compilation of ever. Looking back now and working it out I bought releases from 10 of the bands featured, fell in love with at least 6 of them – 3 of which were particularly passionate… And out of 15 songs that aint not bad (as the illiterate say).
Post that, more of my ‘life highlights’ that included the mighty Panda included my first year of university when, featuring them as label of the week on my student radio station, they sent me a white label test pressing (limited to 10 copies) and a load of stickers (very kind I thought), still owning a Ning 154 limited edition Panda jacket despite losing it temporarily at so many venues across the country and thinking myself continually cool in my youth knowing that getting into Panda bands was not only the way to guarantee bucket loads of indie-cool points, but also enjoy a massive hit rate of favourites in my record collection. Plus they seemed to run the label in the right way – releasing stuff they liked, doing it in a fun way – and releasing rather super merch (tea-cups, coats and polos)
And now – operating an indie label of my very co-own, it is with great love, thanks and praise indeed that I’d like to wish all at Fierce Panda a very happy fifteenth birthday. Whether they can continue to be the behemoth of great indie talent that they were after 15 years hard slog, who knows, but for me – and I imagine a whole swathe of kids who grew up in my generation – it’s “Panda for life”… Or so I once scrawled on the toilet wall of the Coventry Collosseum after a particularly epic Llama Farmer’s set anyway
Quite frankly you’d be mad to miss it! Now I know the EP isn’t out for a few weeks, but diaries fill up quickly in the ‘fuck-it-all, lets go crazy and dance every night cos’ if we’re not partying we may as well be dead’ climate of 2009 – so you better pick your closest gig locale and get ready to slam some indie shapes.
22 Feb – Norwich UEA w/ the Wombats
5 Mar – Kidderminster iDle Hands @ The Tap House
12 Mar – Oxford Jericho Tavern w/Arrows of Love (Ex Hush the Many)
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What’s in store
Vs Everything – Vinyl £18 BUY NOW