OK, so I have now seen Data Panik live (at the Luminaire Club) and I can now say whether they're the same as Bis or not (see earlier post) and whether they're good. And the answer is yes. They even stand in the same formation as the times I saw Bis live (but with the extra new drummer and bassist slightly behind them), so they're not trying too hard to make us forget about Bis, despite the special Data Panik uniforms they wear.
Their personalities come through brilliantly onstage - Manda Rin is so cute, dancing around and yelping/singing when not playing keyboard, and Sci-Fi Steve and John Disco having fun with the guitar riffs and banter. Having a band with live drums and bass changes the emphasis ever so slightly towards a more normal rock sound, which I'm still slightly dubious about, but overwhelmingly they're just as much fun as Bis.
My discovery of the night is Cartridge, the main support band. They put the excitement back into intricately-structured songs that play around with imaginitive dynamics. Sound-wise they range from Delgados-y male/female vocals and keyboards to nu-metal stop-start stabs, flowing pianos, jaunty guitar... except that this description starts to make it sound like they're trying too hard. The music is compelling and melodic, and thoughtful at the same time. I'm listening to their CD now and trying to decide which songs I like best - I like a lot of them, but I have to mention Boxing Stravinsky which is a surreal nursery rhyme about putting Stravinsky in a box and making him disappear, played on piano but with a crescendo of guitar noise in the middle.