Sunday, May 1, 2011

Radio Ga Ga

Okay, so I've posted virtually nothing in the past few months...funny how a writing-intensive MA and an insane schedule will do that. Granted, doing my MA in history in the UK was always in my life's to do list, but as most people who know me right now will attest I have a greater love in my life...Panda.

Its amazing how one move begets another. Who knew that a work trip to Wales would result in a song I co-wrote being played on BBC Wales? I went to Carmarthen in 2009 with a group of amazing students and faculty on a trip that made me wonder how on earth I landed such a lush job. On that trip I met my now BFF Gruff, who works in the international office of the college we took our students to. We instantly hit it off talking about music and kept in touch after I returned return home is another story altogether best told in person over a bottle of wine.

Up until this point I had done loads of music, but always playing other people's music. I'd write but keep it to myself because I didn't want to share it with the world. Gruff, on the other hand is so prolific and active in music that he writes and shares everything. He encouraged me to share my music with him. We started swapping lyrics, melodies and chord progressions over our trans-Atlantic conversations. We visited eachother a few times and wrote several songs together and tucked them away for safe keeping. Meanwhile, Gruff had ideas of starting a new project called Sleepy Panda Club...which is a story for another post.

My trip to Wales also inspired me to take the big step of applying for grad school, which I did and was accepted to Swansea University. That gave us the idea to work on Panda together. When I returned to Wales again for work we started laying the foundation. We found our drummer Steffan who has quickly become a core member. The three of us have toiled for 10 months through different members, 60 different songs, random rehearsal spaces including an abandoned church on the grounds of an old mental hospital...the end result is where we are at this very moment.

As I write this I've just hear one of our songs on BBC Radio of the songs Gruff and I wrote in Vancouver and tucked away for safe keeping. Next week we play Clwb Ifor Bach, where we usually go to see the bands we love play. We're also playing London in about a month.

In addition to these small victories I'm lucky enough to be in a band with some of the nicest, funniest and most supportive people I know. I rarely laugh more than I do when I'm with the boys and girls that are Panda.

This is really only the beginning, but it's turning out to be one hell of a fun ride!

You can find Sleepy Panda Club on Facebook, Myspace ( and Sound Cloud 

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