Live Review – Palma Violets @Bristol O2 Academy 03/12/13


Having previously been tipped as the band that Rock & Roll was absolutely crying out for, it would be understandable if Palma Violets felt a great deal of pressure every time they went on stage to perform. However, within around two and a half seconds of the London indie-rockers frenzied set, it is evident that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The scene had already been set for a wild night by a vibrant and exciting support sets from psychedelic rockers ‘Childhood’ and Welsh newbie’s ‘Telegram.’ However, when the dynamic duo of Alexander ‘Chilli’ Jesson and Sam Fryer swagger onto the stage, its apparent things are about to step up a notch. Launching straight into ‘Rattlesnake Highway,’ a no holds-barred belter of a record that is low on lyrical depth but high on energy, it is plain to see that this is a band that craves attention. They were made to be in the spotlight.

Jesson and Fryers clatter around the stage, leaving mayhem in their wake. They are a partnership with chemistry previously unseen since the days of Doherty and Barat. With their spiky aggressive vocals and gritty guitar lines, Libertines comparisons are inevitable, but as is clear from their debut album ‘180,’ the band’s influences are far more diverse and varied. Fans of the Ramones will purr at the vibrancy and angst of ‘Johnny Bagga’ Dohnuts,’ whilst ‘Tom The Drum’ carries echoes of The Clash and sends the audience into a sweaty orgy of delirium.

There are, of course, some limitations to the brand of narrow garage-indie rock that Jesson & co. exude in such large quantities. The second half of the band’s set is a mixture of obscure covers and underwhelming new tracks ‘Gout! Gang! Go!’ and ‘Scandal’ that merge together somewhat and consequently fail to impress. Perhaps this lack of depth will come back to haunt the band when they release further material. For now, however, it appears to be the least of their concerns, as they round of their set with a traditional rousing rendition of ‘Invasion of the Tribbles’ by obscure Canadian punk band The Hot Nasties, prompting a mass stage invasion from groupies and support bands alike.

Palma Violets are confident, unpredictable and above all they just don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. Whisper it quietly, but they could just be about to hit the big time.


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