East London DJ Gold Panda has a small but dedicated following, whose ranks are slowly growing with every gig he performs. It seems the organiser’s faith in Life providing an adequate venue for this early evening set was misplaced, as although the location is fine for traditional clubbing scenarios, the back room allocated to Gold Panda’s gig was far too small and claustrophobic.
Swathes of fans piled into the boiling room, packing it so densely that dozens had to make do with simply listening from the adjacent hall, as the only room affording a visual on Gold Panda was at capacity. Nevertheless, those that made it in were rewarded with the DJ’s trademark tunes, which pounded through the speakers with deliberate distortion and digital noise. Despite the high quality of the music, it should be noted that he is not a natural performer, rather he fits into the ‘hood-up, head-down’ mould of DJs, which is disappointing considering not only the modern trend to perform but also that many of the tunes would be well-suited to some DJ-audience interaction. Gold Panda’s awesomely sampled songs were truly fantastic, ranging from joy-filled melodies to dirtier, heavier bass-led beats. The songs invited the crowd to dance; the compulsion to nod your head in time to the music was almost irresistible – it’s just a shame that the place was too fucking full to do so.