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Panama Kings
Live review...
Panama Kings
Animal Disco has undergone a transformation and change of address of late, moving to Auntie Annies and now featuring DJs spinning records either side of a local act performing at midnight.

For the launch, Panama Kings take to the stage and begin an electro and synth-driven instrumental jam before breaking into Mobilise The Kids. Crowd favourite Children is next, and the band perform with an air of confidence and self-assuredness, as the audience joins with a chorus of "whoa-oh-ohs". One We Are Many could almost be an electro dance anthem and has areas of the packed venue busting moves to their hearts content.

The bass machine that has replaced bassist Luke Carson since his departure in March appears to be both a blessing and a curse for the group as they appear tighter in their playing but also limited in how flexible and varied they can be with the songs.

The set moves seamlessly into a rockier vibe for the second half  with tracks like Sky, Forever And Consequence featuring riffs very much inspired by Modest Mouse. They are then joined on stage by Cara Cowan for their love song You're On My Side. The track veers slightly towards power ballad territory, but the two voices work well together and it shows the variety in the band's style and genre.

They are joined shortly afterwards by Steve Toner, lead singer of the Queer Giraffes, for older song I Don't Want To Die, which gets a little screechy in parts, and could probably have done without him stripping off during it, but the crowd are in full swing by then and don't seem to mind at all.

Towards the end of the set singer Niall drops the bombshell that the Panamas are splitting up and will play their last gig together on November 4th as part of Radar, which sends a ripple of shock and disbelief through the crowd.

They bring the night to a close with their cover of The Pixies' Where Is My Mind?, the crowd still reeling from the news of their demise but more than satisfied with an accomplished and impressive set.

The kings are dead. Long live the kings.

Chrissie McGlinchey

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Gig Details
Venue: Auntie Annies
Location: Belfast
Date: 20/8/2010

+ Panama Kings @ ATL

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