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Panic Room Live Review - Manchester, Sound Control

Live Review

Venue: Sound Control, Manchester

Panic Room proof their worth in Manchester.

A centrally placed microphone stand, bedecked in flowers and glittering silver butterflies, awaits singer Anne-Marie Helder’s arrival, and with candles illuminating the amplifiers to the rear, it’s a stage set that adds a welcome beauty to a rather lacklustre venue.

That’s not to say Sound Control is grim, but there’s the nagging sensation that this band deserve more than sticky floors and the odour of last night’s stale lager. Indeed, that sentiment encapsulates the Panic Room quandary. How can such a blatantly gifted band be performing in front of around 100 sparsely scattered punters in places like this?

Rightly, there’s not even a glimmer of disillusionment displayed by the band, and with a set that extends to over two-and-a-half hours, Panic Room are determined to put on a show worthy of their abilities. Helder is a compelling focal point, singing with compassion and emotion on songs such as Yasuni and Start The Sound. In bassist Yatim Halimi and drummer Gavin Griffiths, they have one of the finest rhythm sections around. Guitarist Dave Foster is equally comfortable with frenetic metallic solos or laid-back, soaring melodies, and in the shadows, Jonathan Edwards retains the air of a conductor, adding elegant keyboards while keeping a hawkish eye on the band.

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