Live review: Fierce Panda’s 17th Birthday Party
The label that discovered Coldplay celebrates outliving the average wild panda with a show from promising young things Goldheart Assembly and The Crookes at Scala.
Sticking two of indie’s melodic fingers up at the major labels, north London’s Fierce Panda records proved it remains in fine fettle, featuring Goldheart Assembly and The Crookes from its roster.
As the latter bound briskly through early single Bloodshot Days, the clipped notes and singer George Waite’s rich Maccabees-style timbre whisked us to a world of jaunty kitchen-sink reflections hiding a quixotically romantic underbelly. Playing most of their debut album Chasing After Ghosts, The Crookes were unmasked here as potential British treasures-in-waiting.
The Goldheart Assembly, meanwhile, were a different kettle of fish. The eight-strong ensemble, including an oil drum-beater, started out filling the Scala with widescreen psyche-tinged folk-rock conjured from carefully orchestrated vocal harmonies, layers of guitar, keys and drums. King Of Rome, which closed the set, was unfortunately less potent for ploughing a poppier furrow. All-in though, this Panda remains one not to underestimate.