Panama Live at the Workmans Club, Dublin, November, 2012

16 Nov

Panama: Safe Inside

Last night I went to see a relatively new Dublin band Panama who have been together since early 2011. I arrived to the Workmans Club having missed the support act Leann Harte, that was a mistake as I’ve never had the opportunity to see her live and have heard good things. With this a-side the venue was nearly full not bad for a Thursday night with a smaller band. Panama took to the stage in a matter of minutes after I arrived, shimmied my way up the front to get a good look, they entered the stage plugged in and started to play in complete darkness which I though was a nice touch to the start of the show get people’s attention with the sound, although it may have taken just a little too long for the lights to come on and it could’ve been timed better to a build up in the song for the lights to unveil the band. Panama are the first band I’ve heard in recent times to play a brand of Rock in a similar vein to Incubus, Audioslave and Hundred Reasons. Its loud and fast but without the screaming there is more of a focus on melodies, song structure and lyrics.

Panama Live

Panama Live Photo by Itsatangent ©

The beginning of the set was a little shaky although I think this was more an issue with the sound as the lead vocals were lost in music a little. After a couple of songs the boys introduced their fourth member who’d been away for sometime. This instantly made a difference as they seemed more relaxed and the introduction of an acoustic guitar to this kind of music gave a unique style to the sound. It also added hugely having more backing vocals as the next few songs seemed to have everybody singing and the vocals were much clearer and stronger. They played some slower songs in the set including one with a gorgeous piano melody that mixed with the acoustic and bass beautifully. This showed another side to the band one less focused on the heavier rock and more driven by the vocals and songwriting. A particular moment of the set for me was when the lads played a very new song as they put it called One and Another, it was the perfect mix of the loud fast rock with focus kept on the lead vocals a sure sign of the development in the band. While I think the best moments in this set came as a four piece, focused more on melodies and lyrics there is no denying these boys can rock as well, their song Safe Inside is a perfect example of this the chorus is amazing with its chanted backing vocals driving the lead vocals an allowing them to wander on top of a solid foundation.

Panama Live Photo by Itsatangent ©

These guys are still developing their sound, but with that being the case and some of the songs they have already produced things look great for these guys to fill a big gap in the music scene at the moment. You wont find Mandolins and heavily electro influenced tracks to slot these guys into the current trends instead you will get music you can both sing along to in the huge choruses and bounce and scream to in the build ups and bridges.

Panama: Home (Live at the Bow Lane Sessions)

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