Panic Room, David R. Black & Sarah Dixon (Globe Cardiff)
Despite problems with Globe causing confusion a fair few packed into he newly refurbished (and air conditioned) Globe to see Progressive Rock group Panic Room. The band are all former members of the band Karnataka and singer Anne-Marie Helder is both a solo artist and member of Mostly Autumn (as is Drummer Gavin Griffiths).
As this young woman walked on stage with just a single acoustic guitar I started to panic, was this going to be introspective mushy love songs? Well in a word yes but they were well written and her expressive voice sang them very well. Her playing however was not great but as she explained the other guitarist that usually backs her could not be there so she was doing well on her own. Despite being obviously nervous she managed to play a small set of good songs that would have benefited from extra musicality. 7/10
David R. Black
Despite having a heavier and more alternative feel than the other bands David R. Black are name that maybe some have not heard of, despite almost relentless touring and recording since the 1990's the band still remain elusive. However from what I saw this is a shame as they are strong, intricate players with well-crafted songs with playing as heavy as lead. Frontman David R is a cheeky Mancunian who exposes his virtues on stage and plays in the same cocksure and aggressive manner, drummer Pai smashes the drums relentlessly and bassist Sarit Black casts a spellbinding and attitude filled figure on the other side of the stage. The band play Pixies like alternative rock with some added progressive leanings especially on the newer tracks. A great live band and one that everyone should see. 8/10
As Panic Room arrive they do so to a cheer and immediately kick off with a new song called Song For Tomorrow which was a brave and well received move. The band a visibly excited especially new(ish) bassist Yatim Halimi who bounds around the small stage with furious energy. The band play through well-known songs Freedom To Breathe and Picking Up Knives before they slow the pace with the introspective and emotional The Fall. The action picked up again with Reborn and then was followed by one of Anne Marie Helder's solo songs called Exodus which has been given new life by the band. Another new track Promises followed Yasuni. The track was signalling the end of the gig the band had played fantastically all night Edwards' keys worked brilliantly with Davies' technical guitar playing, they were backed by the driving rhythm section of Griffiths and Halimi and Helder's voice was stunning throughout (her guitar playing wasn't bad either). They went into their funked up cover of Bitches Crystal by ELP which led into the heavy rocking Dark Star and the epic Satellite which is possibly one of the best songs the band have ever made, and has an absolutely killer solo. The band then left and came back for their encore of Sandstorms and band introductions (complete with the bassist doing a lap around the audience). The gig ended on a high note with everyone clearly enjoying it. I have seen a few band prog bands but Panic Room are one of the best they play with a fire that isn't present with Anne Marie and Gavin's other job in Mostly Autumn. Simply superb. 9/10