Paolo Nutini, The Panics

Paul Cook 11/05/2009

Hailing from Perth in Western Australia, The Panics embark on their first UK Tour proper supporting Scottish pop sensation Paolo Nutini. The ARIA award winning band revealed backstage that they passed up the opportunity to support Kings of Leon across Australia this year to pursue breaking into the UK instead. The Panics have a mixture of influences behind their indie rock sound including British legends such as The Smiths and Morrissey who was involved in the production of the band's second album Sleeps like a Curse.

The band's sound is first and foremost very polished and professional and at times very understated. The music ranges from the melancholic to the uplifting with a steady base of chords on which soaring additions from the keyboard and electric guitar are layered. Their mellow, contemplative style bares most notable comparison to the work of The Shins and selected material by the likes of Placebo , Death Cab for Cutie and Elbow. However, the horn sections and Laffer's vocals set The Panics apart.

Latest single Don't Fight It stood out as a fantastic live track, as did Confess, another of the impressive tracks from latest award winning album Cruel Guards. What is so enjoyable about the band's music is the sense of place and atmosphere evoked in many of the tracks. A scene from a brooding Western set amidst the fiery, sun-blazed outback of Western Australia springs to mind. Aside from the cinematic, The Panics are a band more than worthy of gracing our festival stages this year and as expressed by lead singer Jae, it is something they'd love to do this year.

Paolo Nutini came on stage to a sell out UEA crowd with his 6 piece band in toe and played a set full of chart hits from his debut 2006 album These Streets. His distinctively rugged, raw vocals were as delightful as ever and the crowd lapped it up. Jenny Don't Be Hasty and Last Request stood out as firm fan favourites whilst These Streets and Rewind still remain his strongest material to date. New material thus far hasn't departed much in terms of style nor content but as new single Candy demonstrates Paolo still has strong songwriting talent. Pencil Full of Lead adopts a playful ragtime style but doesn't suggest any drastic change in style for new album Sunny Side Up released on June 1st.