In the autumn of 2003, when I was living in London for the very first time, I went over to Frankfurt to play at an Apricot Records clubnight en route to meeting up with an old friend in Amsterdam. The Apricot night was fantastic, I really enjoyed myself. I shared the bill with Holger from Panamaformat. I was VERY impressed with his songs, it was just him on a nylon string guitar (the album is quite orchestral). It was great hanging out with him and the Apricot gents as well. Holger told me that the name Panamaformat came from himself and the other member of the band, Marek, each saying the first word that came into their head and then combining them. Johannes very kindly gave me the Panamaformat cd (along with some of their other releases, which was ace), Das Hättest Du Früher Haben Können. I highly recommend you seek it out, a magnificent pop album. From the bio on the Apricot site:
With each song, they refined: frenchy melodies and playful German lyrics (very Holger), British taste and Italian elegance (very Marek), Preussian pride and Swedish ingenuity (very Jean) ... assembling bits and pieces together in a `song-bricolage´ - until the first album was completed with a pretty nonchalant care that is so typical for each of them.
I remember my friends Liisa and Rick coming to visit me shortly after I got back. I put it on in the morning and so impressed was Liisa, she bought it later that afternoon at the Rough Trade shop on Talbot Road. It is a shame I can't find Milchkaffee anywhere on the internet for it is in every respect a perfect pop song, one I really love. But here are the songs on YouTube. Incredibly good stuff.