The Enthusiast Review: The Panics

This was a bit of fun. First published and edited by the wonderful Mel Campbell here on The Enthusiast. God I love editors. If you’ve never been to The Enthusiast website I cannot recommend it enough (and not just because I got to er, write for them..). It’s a smart, funny website focusing on music, current affairs, tv and even some really interesting insights into advertising.

The Panics
Venue: Palace Theatre, Melbourne
Friday 14 October

The Panics are often given the thumbs-up as being the soundtrack of Australian lives. As husky frontman Jae Laffer said at the show when spruiking ‘Don’t Fight it’, “It’s been played on Home and Away like 15 times.” The Summer Bay jukebox success story conveys their clean-cut Australian image. No red-wine-stained teeth for this band – they’re straight-edge with bottles of water.

With this in mind, it is no wonder that as I stood mingling with a crowd sporting old-man spectacles and, more interestingly, including a guy who looked like the love child of Ron Weasley and Dandy Warholer Peter Holmström, I overheard a group of girls having a loud and public chat about their current relationship problems:

“I just don’t know if we should stay together.”
Encouraging nod: “I felt the same way about James and I.”

The Panics are like a support group for this crowd of twentysomethings. Theirs is the music played in a house during a breakup or dinner party. Their sweet, harmonious keyboard notes act as a background to fill the void. Yet, when they eventually took the stage, bathed in blue lights, it became evident that they present a bit of a conundrum when it comes to live shows.

Without any introductions and only a shy smile, the Panics kicked off with the track ‘One Way Street’ from their new album Rain on a Humming Wire. The crowd clapped politely but the atmosphere remained flat and smoky.

As the show progressed the audience warmed up, clearly enjoying familiar songs from the 2008 album Cruel Guards such as ‘Feeling is Gone’ and ‘Get Us Home’. During these songs the audience got involved in a group swaying session, with couples nestling closer together and people singing along to their favourites.

Read the rest here

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