Looking at Panda Cubs Facebook page, I found it difficult to believe that a student band could possibly have headlined the Grand Opera House. With a capacity of 1000, it’s definitely a step up from the Courtyard. However, on the back of support gigs with the likes of Glasvegas, the popular uni-based four piece, comprising of Christian Silver, Matt Lyle, Rich Oxley and Nigel Bancroft, clearly have higher aspirations.
The Panda Cubs’ dress code is black – from guitars to glasses, a decision refracted through their tense blend of noir post-punk. Drawing heavily from the driving gloom and moody vocals of Interpol, Panda Cubs work on a different scale of grandiosity to the aforementioned Glaswegians, to their benefit. The band are at their best when their jittery beats and pulsing melodies weave around each other to support the sustained vocal chorus lines of songs such as recent demo ‘Dose’. This track, alongside ‘Faithful’, can be heard on the band’s Facebook page now.
Over the next couple of months, the band have a series of gigs lined up – most notably a slot at York’s DV8 festival at the Duchess, and a visit to BBC Introducing. Fingers crossed their upward trajectory continues over the summer, and they can continue to put a good face on student music. Frontman Silver just needs to stop wearing sunglasses onstage. Indoors. Definitely promising, but the lights aren’t that bright yet.