I did a lot over the summer, including going to eleven concerts! So many of them were incredible, and some, well, not so much. The first concert and one of the best I went to was Panchiko!
Panchiko, named after a misspelling of a Japanese gambling game, is a wonderful band with an inspiring story to boot. They were formed before the turn of the century by school friends, with very limited success. In 2016, someone found one of the CDs in a record shop in Nottingham, a city in the UK, and went to the internet, looking for anyone who had information about the band; no one did! The band reunited and started to re-release music after someone meticulously contacted every person named Owain (the name of the singer credited on the CD) in Nottingham. Almost 20 years after disbanding, Panchiko had reached fame none of the members could believe.
Panchiko’s first tour started in 2022, and included a stop in Cleveland on my birthday! So, of course, I had to go. It was a great experience and I got to speak with Owain (lead vocalist and guitarist) and Andy (guitarist/keyboardist), who were very humble and still surprised that so many people loved their music from two decades ago. If you’re wondering, their music is a mix of indie rock and shoegaze – sometimes termed as noise pop.
After releasing their new album, Failed at Math(s), Panchiko went back on tour in 2023, coming to Cleveland once again. This time, they toured with the shoegaze legends LSD and the Search for God (which I’ll call LSD) as well as the up-and-coming act Horse Jumper of Love (HJOL). The concert ended up starting an hour late because of complications with an under-21 fee at the door. I missed the first song LSD played, but the rest of the set was great – they played an unreleased song at the end simply titled “New Song.” It was probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see them play live since they usually never leave the West Coast. HJOL isn’t my favorite, though I know some people who loveeeeee them, so no hate to them. Finally, Panchiko came out and played some old songs and some new ones, with lots of fun effects from pedals and a voice distortion microphone. I wasn’t able to stay too long after to talk to the band, though I caught Andy. Overall, it was a pretty great experience, and if Panchiko comes back to Cleveland (again), I’ll be buying tickets!