Panda

Panda

BandBluesFunk

"PANDA play a mix of blues grunt and super smooth new age alt pop, with jazzy, Latin, African, Celtic and Middle Eastern rhythms and sounds, a social conscience, and a sense of humour." - Sydney Blues Society, The Blues Times, August 2005 STOP PRESS!! NEW ALBUM DUE FOR RELEASE MAY 2006

Biography

Unique, exotic and very cuddly, PANDA is one of a kind on the Australian music scene.

Think swamp blues meets funk, throw in soul, a smattering of reggae and African, mix with lashings of urban style and you begin to get the PANDA picture. This high-energy five-piece band is at the forefront of contemporary funk blues in Sydney - with a TASTY NEW SINGLE AND ALBUM TO BE RELEASED IN MAY 2006.

PANDA's ground breaking fusion of blues/funk developed from the band's origins as a Mississippi Delta blues duo - formed by guitarist/vocalist Aaron Houston and vocalist Alexandra Kaye - in 1998. The duo then expanded to welcome the funk/groove talent of Milica Stefanovic on bass/vocals. Finally in 2002, PANDA opened its arms to international-music maestro, Ian Watson on drums/percussion and blues/jazz man, Scott Turner on saxophone/clarinet/harmonica. All friends who studied contemporary music together at university in Sydney, the now five-piece band PANDA launched the debut EP, "Pandamonium Live" the same year. A live recording of a PANDA gig, the EP beautifully captured the high-octane atmosphere only PANDA can create. With the success of "Pandamonium Live", PANDA hit the ground running and haven't paused for breath since.

From 2002 to 2005, PANDA have been 'road warriors' in the true sense of the phrase, performing countless gigs around Australia including venues in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Albury, Bendigo, Wollongong, Newcastle, Brisbane and Byron Bay. Numerous residencies have been held in Sydney including a two-month residency at the Mona Vale Hotel, another at the Excelsior Hotel in Glebe and PANDA were also resident band for The Man From Snowy River Hotel in Perisher Valley for two consecutive years. PANDA's stunning original music has been showcased at a number of leading festivals around the country including the Hills Food & Wine Festival (2001, 2002, 2003), CDMH Festival at Barrington Tops (2003) and the Surry Hills Festival (2003, 2004). PANDA were also invited to headline the prestigious 2003 Manly Folk Festival in Sydney, to great acclaim.

A guest artist on ABC Radio's 2BL, PANDA were also a featured band on Doug Mulray's global live internet radio station, in conjunction with leading Sydney venue The Basement. This live performance was also broadcast on 'Breakfast at the Basement' on Foxtel's MusicMax channel. PANDA was also a Top 10 Finalist in the Blues category of the renowned Musicoz Awards in 2003.

In response to the deafening calls for a new album, PANDA launched "The Extended Family" in Sydney during June 2004, to rave reviews and a sell-out crowd of over 400 people, with another 100 people turned away at the door. Over 150 CDs were sold and by the end of the evening, there wasn’t a PANDA t-shirt or badge remaining.

2005 saw the band shift gear again, with "The Extended Family" album sold out, and continuous gigs performed around Sydney. PANDA were one of four bands chosen as finalists in the SBS Blues Performer of the Year Award 2005 and they headlined the Sydney Blues Society 'Birthday Party' in August 2005. June and September 2005 saw PANDA play two famously sold-out gigs at leading Sydney venue, The Basement, with crowds of over 550 people in attendance each time. A featured artist on Australia's most popular national music radio station Triple J, PANDA have also enjoyed continual airplay on Sydney's leading community music radio stations FBI and 2 SER. With their second release and all the PANDA merchandise now sold-out several times over, the band hit the studio again in December 2005 to record a new album (due out in May 2006). This independent release was produced by Brian Cachia of Troy Horse Studios in Sydney. PANDA has also kept their legion of fans happy with gigs at Newtown Festival 2005, Peats Ridge Festival 2005 and Barrenjoey Arts Festival 2005. PANDA topped off 2005 with five gigs supporting vocal band Kaya at Australia's biggest festival, Woodford Folk Festival in Qld, including a tasty set of new PANDA tunes at the infamous Chai Tent.

PANDA has been invited to play the best Australian music festivals over the next six months including the Australian Blues Music Festival 2006, The Great Escape Festival 2006, Surry Hills Festival 2006 & Come Together Festival 2006,

PANDA was also invited to play the Canadian Music Week Festival in March 2006, but they had to decline due to studio commitments with the new album.

STOP PRESS:

NEW SINGLE TO BE LAUNCHED AT SYDNEY'S PREMIER LIVE VENUE, THE BASEMENT, ON APRIL 1 2006.

NEW ALBUM TO BE LAUNCHED MAY 2006.

WATCH FOR THE SHINY NEW FILMCLIP TO BE RELEASED SOON WITH THE SINGLE ...

Lyrics

Maleman

Written By: PANDA

Well I'm down on my luck
And I don't have a buck or a penny

Maleman, won't you bring me a letter
About how I won the lottery
And maybe I'd feel a little better
Cause I'd have food in my belly

Cause I'm down on my luck
And I don't have a buck or a penny
Would I just feel the same
If I had any

Everybody wants to be a soap-box soul operator in this life of mine
Come get some
Gotta get it into your head
Find out my little baby
That I want to get you into my bed
Feeling a little bit frisky
And the way you shake those hips
Come on now little girl
I want to kiss you on those lips

Im thirsty, thirsty for some action
Ive got to feel me some rhythm here
And lately I get my satisfaction from playing music and drinking beer

If you feel your legs move
Then get up off your ass and groove
Cause if I wasn't up here
I'd be down there with you

Life Is Like A Butterfly With No Wings

Written By: PANDA

I don't know where my money goes
But I know when it's gone
I've got lies and my new disguise
But I'm still on the run
The police want to bury me in a box made for one
I try to hide under the ground
But I'm still in the sun

I'm going down to the red-neck town
Where they crown me with the bodies they've found
Only found out today that I was not welcome
Only here today for some restaurant takeaway
I was bound to live in the ground
From the sound of the hammer going down
Complicated man of pity
Found out today I don't like this city

Feel like the rejected type of society
What more does a rich man want
Than a slave for free
I'm down on my knees
Wanna let me up
Got down on my knees
Gonna set me up

I'm going down to the red-neck town
Where they crown me with the bodies they've found
Only found out today that I was not welcome
Only here today for some restaurant takeaway
I was bound to live in the ground
From the sound of the hammer going down
Complicated woman of pity
Found out today I don't like this city

Caesar

Written By: PANDA

Caesar was a man
He couldn't get none
Take it while you can
And come and get some

Don't you let your mind
You've gotta leave this world
And don't you leave your soul behind

Did it hurt?
Where was the love
When you knew that it had to end
Was there much pain?
You won't be doing that again

You won't be doing that again

Caesar had a plan
And he was hoping
That it didn't have to end
With an over-dosing

Discography

Pandamonium Live EP (2002) independent release
The Extended Family ALBUM (2004) independent release

Singles on radio rotation (Triple J, FBI, 2 SER) include 'Voodoo Daddy', 'Mr Moonshine' and 'When I Was Born' from The Extended Family album (2004)

Set List

PANDA can play up to 3 hours of original material, with each set normally going for 45 - 50 mins. They play the occassional cover song, but prefer to perform their original compositions.

An example of a typical PANDA set list is:

Life Is Like A Butterfly With No Wings
Busdriver
Facelift
Pillowbiter
Dolphin Song
Maleman
Rollercoaster

Song List: Mr. Moonshine, Voodoo Daddy, Rollercoaster, Empty Street, Blindman, Ugliest Sound, Kitchenwoman, When I Was Born, War, Extended Family, Busdriver, Life Is Like A Butterfly With No Wings, Pillowbiter, Dolphin Song, Facelift, Enowen, Blue City, Maleman, Scar Crow, Effigy, Caeser, My Baby's Like A Cigarrette, Visions

Covers: Judgement Day, Do I Move You?, Walking Blues, Mama, Trouble In Mind, Come Into My Kitchen, Papa Was A Rolling Stone