Previously published in Take in the Scene
“After lengthy debate we decided to call the album ‘This Hope Will Kill Us’ and it will be released on Furious Tradesmen on January 19th,” Davey of Panda Kopanda tells me, “Basically it’s our whole lifetime’s work, and we’re quite proud of it.” Panda Kopanda’s last release was in 2006 so it’s been a long wait for this album, but we’re all hoping, and believing, it will be worth it. If you’re a fan of The Pixies, Nick Cave, Pavement, Arcade Fire or (according to the band) Cliff Richard, this album may be of interest to you.
If you’re hoping for another ‘Ocean of Fire’ you definitely won’t be getting that: “The album is definitely BIGGER sounding: more airiness, more feedback, more cowbell!” But what about the band themselves; what does it say about them and their music? “‘This Hope Will Kill Us’ gives a fair reflection of what we are, it’s challenging and serious but there‘s a sense of humour in there too. We’ve still maintained our pop sensibilities from our previous works, there’s still a lot of catchy tunes and hooks in there, but we’ve smothered it in all kinds of challenging goodness, we’re like Jelly Babies dipped in Marmite!” We all know about the cliché of the “difficult second album”, but after two EPs is it possible that Panda Kopanda may have just created a new cliché – the “challenging first album”?
Currently, the band are living together, which could go one of two ways – living in perfect peace and harmony or they might be doing it Big Brother style and getting angry because someone ate the last egg: “[It’s working out] great! We’re quite unflappable really, we’ve had 80mph car crashes together and Gavin’s dad threatened Jonny with a shotgun so domestic arguments always seem fairly insignificant. Initially our thought was that living together would make us really productive, but in the end we just ended up getting really good at playing table tennis on a 6’ by 4’ kitchen table.” Nothing to worry about there then...
Since the band are releasing the album so early in the year do they have any hopes for possible outcomes in 2009? “The album is the main priority, if we can get as many people to hear that as we can then we’ll be happy. For us that means gigging as much as we can across Ireland (North and South) and generally whoring ourselves around!” And what about outside of the UK and Ireland altogether? “We’ve had a few enquiries from mainland Europe so we may end up going further afield as well. In conclusion for 2009 we want to: a) sell albums, b) tour and c) ultimately get more puntang.”
If you’re a fan of Panda Kopanda you have a lot to look forward to, and if you’re not a fan yet you’ll have plenty of gigs to attend, a new album to purchase and some banter along the way. Make sure to head to the album launch on Thursday 15th January at Two Step at the Limelight, with support from the fabulous Cutaways and Three Tales. “Needless to say we’ll be selling copies of the album at the show and our performance should feature some ’special guests’… although now that Coolio has joined the Big Brother House we need to organise his replacement.” Damnit, and that’s just who I wanted to see!
You can check out Panda Kopanda at www.myspace.com/pandakopanda
You can find out more about Take in the Scene fanzine at www.myspace.com/takeinthescene