Monday, April 03, 2017

Little Indie tracks down new Merseyside band Panda Cult

A brand new band by the name of Panda Cult has come bursting out of Merseyside onto the scene with a pop banger of a debut single ‘First Time’, described by vocalist Peter Pegasiou as about "finding the catalyst for your good times and spending as much time as possible with them."

Little Indie's Jane Davies went hunting some good times with the band to find out more...

Hello, Panda Cult, you're so new we hardly feel we know you at all, so tell us  all!

Peter Pegasiou: Heyyyy, four lads, namely Peter, Tom, Conor and Jack. Why? Because we're awful at everything else. We are a pop guitar band born a couple weeks back - if we're talking about a social media birth.

We see you're from Merseyside, whereabouts? Who’s in Liverpool and who’s from Wirral? Are you all Scousers - our spies tell us one of you may be an 'interloper' from 'dahn Sarf', no?

PP: Yeah, two of us are from the Wirral. I'm from Bebington and Tom from Spital; Jack's from Hawarden in North Wales, and Conor's from 'Sarfend' - Southend in Essex, but lives in Liverpool.

And how familiar are you with the ferry? Ever pretend you're Gerry Marsden? 

PP: When people say 'the ferry' I usually think of New Ferry by mine, but no I don't pretend I'm Gerry M. I tried to get the ferry across the Mersey at the start of January from Birkenhead for my mate’s bar crawl but it was too windy which was a shame.

Unless you're fresh faced young lads straight from uni or whatever, have you played in other bands, any of you?

PP: Yeah, we've played in bands such as Collector's Club, Tiny Trees and a few others.

How did you find each other and decide to form Panda Cult? 

PP: We were all in different local bands and decided to unite to create something new!

And what is this 'cult of Pandas' you call yourselves by. How does one join this 'cult' and is there a secret 'paw' shake?! How did you come up with the name?

PP: There is all of those things. You need to be completely unorganised, and own an instrument made of bamboo. We came up with the name in a mad rush. We had a few other ideas, but if you ask a few silly lads to come up with a band name they tend to pretend to just come up with funny ones to amuse each other for the most part. We had Double P and the Thankyou Shop at one point. I don't think it matters so much.

Were you surprised to be played on BBC Introducing Merseyside after leaving “First Time” on the uploader?

PP: Yeah, we really were.

Dave Monks has championed many local bands who have gone on to great things.

PP: Dave's a great guy for doing that for us. It's invaluable getting on BBC Introducing.
What kind of reaction have you received so far to your 'fizzy pop' sound?

PP: It's been good I think. It's just a pop tune with a band line-up.

A sound you will be keeping to?

PP: We don't try to adhere to a particular sound, just make it up as we go.

You're airing this first track as your kind of debut, and I understand you have another in the offing? How many songs have you written now - enough for an EP?

PP: We've got loads written and demoed. When we will release the next, I'm not sure. But hopefully people will enjoy it.

What are your plans for playing live. Have you done so yet, or are you concentrating more on writing and recording at this stage?

PP: We're concentrating mainly on writing I think but playing is always important for lots of reasons. I think we're in it for the live aspect mainly. [Panda Cult played their first official set at last weekend's 2Q Festival in Derby.]

The Liverpool music scene is buzzing at the moment. Is your own sound influenced by any other bands, past or present? 

PP: It's really nice at the moment. Yeah, we all have different influences. I like a lot of The Cure's stuff and old pop bands like Hall and Oates as well. I try not to listen to too much new stuff on my ipod as it can blur my vision a bit. I'd end up writing a song that sounds like somebody else on the scene at the moment.

What fellow local bands are you liking right now?

PP: Paris Youth Foundation are a great band and great lads. Same with Ravellas. They're my picks I think. They've got some proper songs. They may not be the most avant garde bands ever but they've got charm and hooks which is all you need.

I notice no pictures of the band on your Twitter or Facebook. Is this intentional? 

PP: It is intentional in that we've only just started and haven't uploaded any pictures yet. We haven't really felt a need to. I don't think pictures are necessary in this kind of situation.

Do you wish to maintain an air of mystery, and to be a Banksy of the music world?

PP: Since we're not a little boy band then I think people will be able to appreciate us for the music first. Which is the best way, is it not?

If we can't have a picture [the image at the head of this interview obviously not being them; just stand-in lookalikes], give us a visual description of each of the four of you, just in case we should run into you down the pub!

PP: Have you ever seen the four kids in The Goonies? Imagine them, but with an average height of six-foot!

We'll be on the look-out! Cheers lads.

Panda Cult are: Peter Pegasiou - lead vocals, guitar; Jack Kelsey - guitar, backing vocals; Connor Michael O'Shea - bass, backing vocals; Tom Davis - drums.

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