LIVE: Panic Island @ The Barfly, 14.05.15

If you haven’t yet heard of Panic Island, aka North Londoners Arron Sans and Vinnie Shimia, then you soon will – things are moving fast for the duo and they are about to make a mark on the alternative rock scene. Only a couple of days after they released their video for ‘We Start Fires’, which premiered on Gigslutz, I had the pleasure to attend the launch party for their upcoming EP Cabin Fever in Camden Barfly.

As soon as the band play the first killer riffs of ‘We Start Fires’, I know this is going to be one of the best indie gigs I have seen lately. Undoubtedly, their sound is fresh – a blend of hard-rock slashing guitars, anthemic chants and a touch of glitz that many compare to The Killers, and I cannot help but agree. What makes the show, however, is their immense energy, which quickly infects the crowd and gets everyone dancing in no time. Vocalist Arron Sans’ acting background also plays a part, as he puts up a dramatic performance similar to the ones he has shown in the duo’s edgy videos, except this time unstaged and uncut.

Although the venue’s quiet for a Thursday night – likely due to the rain – the audience is dedicated. And hey, it is always nice knowing ­­that you’re among the first to be at the gigs of a hot new band before everyone else hears about them and starts crowding their shows, blocking your view and stomping on your feet. Because that is precisely what is about to happen.

So, if you want to brag to your mates next year, while Panic Island are selling out large venues, that you heard them ‘before they were cool’, check out their EP which is coming out 18 May and head over to their next show at The Garage in Islington on 5 June – you’ll be in for a treat.


Mariana Nikolova