The Panics will return to Adelaide for an immersive performance with stirring documentary Girt by Sea as a part of Adelaide’s Guitar Festival this August.
Set in Her Majesty’s Theatre, the band will play an eclectic mix of old and new songs from their forthcoming album. Meanwhile a one-hour film documentary will play celebrating their connection with the sea. Stirring visuals and sonic together they hope to bring a “double power” performance. “It’s very special to us because it’s outside of what we normally do,” says The Panics vocalist Jae Laffer. Directed by South Australian filmmaker, Shane McNeil, the documentary combines historical and current footage of Australian coastline and the people that based their lives around it. Sourced mostly from the National Film and Sound Archive and the ABC, the public were also asked to send in home movies. “We had a team of archivers sorting the stuff out and after when we finished, people watching actually identified footage of relatives that were theirs, some of which, they hadn’t seen for nearly 50-60 years,” says Director Shane McNeil. Described as a “distinctly Australian” piece the unique compilation also captures a volume of universal experiences. “There are political sentiments underneath it with some segments on whaling, some on immigration, others on industrialisation. We wanted it to be an immersive experience so that audiences can use it to guide their feelings and take them on a narrative journey,” says McNeil. Taking half a year to complete, the project was a collaborative process between McNeil and the band. Unlike traditional methods of working, the entire project was done over the phone and by email. “It was truly organic and constantly evolving because as the footage was affecting the music, the music was affecting the footage,” says McNeil. “In the world of archival footage it’s a treasure archive, with some footage we’ll never see. We bounced off whatever was coming with spirit, but at the same time respecting the visuals and subject matter,” says Jae Laffer. Bringing a new face to the festival and to their works, The Panics will lead audiences on an evocative, slightly unusual, but truly mesmerising journey. The Panics at The Adelaide Guitar Festival Saturday, August 13, 8pm adelaideguitarfestival.com.au