Scottish Ska community to remember former Big Fat Panda frontman with Glasgow tribute gig

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Ska music fans will come together at the end of February to remember the life of one of the most colourful members of the scene in Scotland.

Last September, Andrew Laidlaw, lead singer of Big Fat Panda, died at the age of 52.

Not only was ‘big Andy’ a formidable character in front of the mic, he was well known for his charity work within various communities throughout the country.

He was praised for creating The Great British Foodbank Skank, a series of gigs for which the entry fee was a bag of groceries. He was also a huge supporter of the The Specialized Project, and recorded a cover song once a year for over a decade to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and other charities.

And in continuing Andy’s legacy, his band mates have organised a tribute night in his honour to raise funds for charities close to the ex-frontman’s heart. 

The gig kicks off at 5pm on Saturday 24th February at the Classic Grand in Glasgow’s Jamaica Street.

Big Fat Panda and four other bands will perform including Edinburgh group Bombskare, which Andy was previously a member of.

Fellow Scottish group Esperanza and the Dughoose plus the Skapones from the northeast of England complete the bill.

Andy (right) pictured with items donated at a Foodbank Skank event.

Andy played at shows and festivals from Aberdeen to Australia, and his proudest achievement was landing multiple support gigs with childhood heroes, Bad Manners.

The official Bad Manners Facebook account shared the group’s sadness at Andy’s passing, posting back in September, that “the world has lost an incredible human today.”

Guitarist Alex Read told us that, “Andy was the Pandas” and that members changed over the years, but he was the permanent fixture. She explained that since no one person could ever replace him, they’ve enlisted the help of multiple singers from other groups.

She added that even between eight of them, she doubts that the singers will manage to talk for as long as Andy was known to between sets.

Tickets cost £20 each and can be found by clicking here.

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