The Gastown Panic are a Glasgow based two-piece that has been making music together for a long time, but as a duo since 2017. Martin Harrold plays guitar and keyboards and Gordon Johnstone bass and keyboards, with both sharing vocal duties.
“We’re self-financed and self-produced and do this all for our own enjoyment. In 2020 we won best Indie-Pop act at the Radio Wigwam online awards and have since started our own fortnightly show on the station, playing songs we love, unsigned artists and talking rubbish in between.”
GJ : “As always it’s the fun of working together, and bouncing ideas off one another that are important in this band, and I think that relationship is evident in our music.”
The Gastown Panic will release their second studio album on the 22nd of August. It’s called ‘PANIC!’. Here’s what the lads had to say about their new album and find out why it’s called Panic!.
GJ: “The album is a movement towards a more keyboard orientated style, away from more guitar based songs that were on our first album. We still feature guitars, but they a bit less evident on this album, which is always seen as the tricky second album. I think we pulled it off.”
MH: “This album is very different to some of our first album, ‘Panther Milk Bar’. But I think the last few tracks we wrote and recorded on that album sowed the seed for what we wanted to do next – ‘Social I’ and ‘Das Mutterschiff’ for instance. As Gordon says, it’s less obviously guitar focused.”
GJ: “If the album had to fit into a particular genre, I would say it would be Elton Genre….”
MH: “…or Genre Lennon! Seriously, I think there are multiple. I find it hard to categorise, so perhaps Indie Pop would be our chosen one.”
GJ: “We chose the title, ‘PANIC!’ as a gentle invitation to experience music that may be the soundtrack to the current global climate. Panic… but in a controlled way…with less lies.”
MH: “ Yeah, I think we considered ‘Don’t Panic!’ at one point, but it feels like ‘Panic!’ is a better description of the world in the last couple of years.”
MH: “Since we’ve started The Gastown Panic, everything seems to have gone a little more crazy – increased fanaticism, terrorism, Brexit, Trump, Covid-19, the lack of nuance in an increasingly black & white world – and a million other things that we could bore on about for hours. There’s a lot to process and a number of the songs are a bit of an outlet for all of that frustration that most normal folk are feeling. Alongside that Gordon can still bring the love though, so there’s a lot of heart in there too.”
In part 2, that’ll be published tomorrow, you can find out more about the writing and recording process of the new album.