The Panda Band

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The Panda Band
OriginPerth, Western Australia, Australia
GenresIndie pop
Years active2003–present
LabelsBam*Boo/QStik Records/MGM
Filter Records
MembersDamian Crosbie
David Namour
Stephen Callan
Chris Callan
Gabriel Nicotra

The Panda Band are an indie pop band originating from Perth, Western Australia. They have a reputation for combining numerous musical genres. They have toured nationally as support acts for bands such as The Sleepy Jackson, Little Birdy, The Grates and Evermore.


The band originally existed in the late nineties as Philius Phog until Crosbie went travelling Europe. They reformed and played their first gig as Generic Boy Band (with Crosbie, Namour, Nicotra and Chris Callan in the band) in an opening heat of the Australian National Campus Band Competition in the latter half of 2003, where they failed to make it past the first round.

At the WAMi Weekender in June 2004, they played their first gig as The Panda Band, with late addition Steve Callan on keys, at a showcase which also featured The Nordeens, Ikey Mo and Guyver at The Carton Hotel in Perth.

Their first single "Eyelashes", was playlisted on national (Triple J) & interstate radio (FBi Radio, RTRFM) and given single of the week in two Australian street press magazines in April 2004. The band undertook its first tour of regional and metropolitan Western Australia with Little Birdy in July 2004, followed by their first interstate dates in Sydney & Victoria playing with Hope of the States in August 2004. Their second single "Sleepy Little Deathtoll Town" (taken from the EP of the same name) was released in September 2004, and was playlisted on national & interstate radio, this was followed in October by an eleven date Australian tour with Little Birdy. The band were selected for Triple J's Fresh Crop artist for Australian Music Month (November 2004) profiling the song "Mohawk". The Panda Band were listed by Rolling Stone Magazine as number 1 band to watch in 2005

"A surreal, swirling and eclectic mix of instrumentation and melodies. Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse eccentricity blended with the classic harmonies and quirk of Sgt Peppers-era Beatles."
(Bronwyn Thompson – Rolling Stone Magazine January 2005).

"Sleepy Little Deathtoll Town" entered the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2004, at number 73[1] and the band were awarded 'Most Promising New Act at the 2005 Western Australian Music Industry Awards (WAMi's) in February 2005. The Panda Band performed at the inaugural Southbound Festival (January 2005) and played at The Big Day Out in Perth (February 2005). February 2005 also saw the release of their debut EP, Sleepy Little Deathtoll Town. The band's next single, "Then you Appear" was released in March 2005 and again playlisted on national & interstate radio. March also saw the band performing at The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, SXSW Festival, Rothkos and The Mercury Lounge in New York City and The Marquee Club in London. The band then returned to Australia and toured with Evermore in April, June and July. September and October saw the band perform shows at Manchester's in the city, Liverpool, Leeds, Wrexham (touring with Proud Mary) and three gigs in London (one with The Spinto Band), they also record a live recording at XFM Radio in London for broadcast on John Kennedy's nightly new music program. The Panda Band were then invited to perform at Canadian Music Week 2006 and The Great Escape Festival 2006 in Brighton, UK. The next single, "Alana" (October 2005) was playlisted on national and interstate radio. The band received three song awards including mixed category, pop category and Song of the Year at the WA Music Industry Association's Songwriting Awards in October 2005. The band then undertook a headline tour to Sydney and Melbourne including the Bathurst Village Fair and were again invited to perform at SXSW in 2006.

In February 2006 The Panda Band were awarded 'Best Indie Rock Act' and 'Best Drummer' at the 2006 Western Australian Music Industry Awards. The band commenced recording their debut album at Blackbird Studios In March 2006 Damian Crosbie was awarded the Australasian Performing Rights Society Professional Development Award for the Contemporary Music category for his song "Eyelashes", which was followed by a national tour of Australia as the main support act for The Grates. They signed to Filter US Recordings in March 2006 to release their album in North America.

Their first full-length album This Vital Chapter was independently released in Australia on 5 August 2006 and in the United States by Filter US Recordings and Fontana Distribution on 18 September 2006, with a special iTunes pre-release on 25 July. A national tour followed which saw band take New Rules For Boats around Australia with them. They were also joined at various points by Jump 2 Light Speed and Jeff Strong. Immediately following the album tour, they went on The Sleepy Jackson's Personality - One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird Australian tour. They followed this up in November with an east coast of Australia tour with The Exploders from Melbourne and Perth band The Dirty Secrets. The tour was called "Way of the Exploding Panda".

The Panda Band performed at the "Escape to the Park" concert on 25 November at King's Park, Perth, Western Australia, alongside Josh Pyke, Tex Perkins, Sarah Blasko & Augie March.[2] They also performed at the Southbound at Bussleton in January 2007.

In 2007 they performed a third time at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.[3] Following the festival they then undertook an eleven date USA tour covering Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, & New York to promote the album release in North America. The Panda Band then toured nationally, supporting Gomez at some shows.[4]

The band's latest single, "The Fix", was released as a free download in April 2011, ahead of the release of their second studio album, Charisma Weapon. The album was scheduled to be released on 15 July on the band's own label, Bam*Boo.

Band members[edit]

  • David Namour – bass
  • Stephen Callan – keyboards/samples/Lead Song Writer
  • Chris Callan – guitar/backing vocals
  • Scott Lee Howard – drums/percussion
  • Damian Crosbie – lead vocals/guitar



Extended plays[edit]


  • "Eyelashes" (April 2004)
  • "Sleepy Little Deathtoll Town" (September 2004)
  • "Then you Appear" (March 2005)
  • "Alana" (October 2005)
  • "Where the River Rises" – Bam*Boo (4 November 2008)
  • "Furiious" – Filter (22 September 2009)
  • "The Fix" (9 April 2011)

Awards and nominations[edit]


  • 2006 WAMi Awards, Best Indie/Pop Act[5]
  • 2006 WAMi Awards, Best Drummer – Gabriel Nicotra
  • 2005 WAMi Awards, Most Promising New Act[6]
  • 2005 WAM Song of the Year Awards, Grand Prize – "Sleepy Little Death Toll Town" by Damian Crosbie[7]
  • 2005 WAM Song of the Year Awards, Pop – "Sleepy Little Death Toll Town" by Damian Crosbie
  • 2005 WAM Song of the Year Awards, Mixed Bag – "Then You Appear" by Damian Crosbie


  • 2007 WAMi Awards, Most Popular Act[8]
  • 2007 WAMi Awards, Most Popular Album – This Vital Chapter
  • 2006 WAMi Awards, Best Instrumentalist – Stevie Callan[5]
  • 2006 WAMi Awards, Best Bassist – Dave Namour
  • 2005 WAMi Awards, Favourite Newcomer[6]
  • 2005 WAMi Awards, Best Indie/Pop Act
  • 2004 WAM Song of the Year Awards, Best Indie/Punk Song – "Eyelashes" by Damian Crosbie and Dave Namour[9]
  • 2003 WAM Song of the Year Awards, Best Indie Pop/Rock Song – "Birds on the Bridge" by Damian Crosbie


  1. ^ "Triple J Hottest 100–2004". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  2. ^ "Escape to the Park". Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority. 22 November 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2007.[dead link]
  3. ^ "SXSW 2007 Showcasing Artists – The Panda Band". South by Southwest. Archived from the original on 14 July 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  4. ^ Christie Eliezer (13 March 2007). "In Music & Media Archive – Christie Eliezer's Festival & Tour Guide". Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  5. ^ a b "WAMi Festival 2006 – Awards". WAMi. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  6. ^ a b "WAMi Festival 2005 – Awards". WAMi. Archived from the original on 31 December 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  7. ^ "WAM Song of the Year Awards 2005 – Winners". WAMi. Archived from the original on 3 April 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  8. ^ "WAMi Festival 2007 – Awards". WAMi. Archived from the original on 5 May 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  9. ^ "WAM Song of the Year Awards 2004 – Finalists". WAMi. Archived from the original on 30 December 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2007.

External links[edit]