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After having been invited to Switzerland for a few gigs, the London indie band th’sheridans returned the favor and secured Manolo Panic a few shows in and about London. Unbeknownst to the band Negative White sent a reporter to one of the events.

Manolo Panic playing at Nambucca (Sacha Saxer)

Manolo Panic playing at Nambucca (Sacha Saxer)

 

sax. After having been in touch with Julia (of th’sheridan’s fabulous cast) for a while I decided to surprise Manolo Panic at one of their London gigs. We took every precaution to keep everything from the Manolos but life being as it is, I ran into them in the middle of London. Not only shit happens, coincidence does, too. Still the expression on their faces was worth all the trouble. Neither of them had expected to see me (or any other Swiss face) during their stay in the UK.

While I intended to attend their show on Thursday, another chance happening crossed my plans and I ended up at the all but sold out Steel Panther show – along with two members of their former support act, Kobra and the Lotus. Fun times are to be had in London, that’s for sure. Lucky for me Manolo Panic had three shows in a row on their schedule, so I skipped the gig at the Workshop and went to Nambucca on Friday.

Since this was their first time abroad, they didn’t do any headlining shows but played along with several other bands. While this is for sure a great way to gain a bigger audience, it is also a risky move for a band as they do basically everything on their own risk. They only earn any money after the promoter/venue is paid. Stay tuned for a follow up on the differences between Swiss and UK concert management.

This was only the third gig Manolo Panic played in the UK but they handled the nervousness with remarkable ease. Ramon seems to be at home on any stage he’s currently on, expressing confidence wherever he’s playing but after the concert it was obvious that he was very pleased everything went well and that the – albeit small – crowd had fun.

The concert started with some technical difficulties. The hi-hat stand was broken and after a frantic but fruitless search for the missing part Ramon and Yannick fixed the stand with a guitar string and some duct tape. Nothing stands between an indie musician and his gig. As soon as that little problem was solved and the soundcheck was done – very swift and efficient, I wish they were always that short – the band started right into their first song. The reaction of the audience reminded me a bit at home at first, but soon people were actually dancing to the music. While the crowd was smallish, I’m sure for a band it’s more fun to play for a couple of people who show they have fun and like their music than for a crowd that’s staring bored into their drinks.

Manolo Panic performed as I’m getting to expect from them: with skill and lots of enthusiasm. It’s always fun to see them play, regardless of the size for the venue or the audience. Some bands still play music simply because they love to – Manolo Panic is one of them.

Reporting from London, this is Sacha Saxer.

 

Photos: Sacha Saxer