Here’s a reprint of a review of the Palma Violets gig that ran in Hot Press a few weeks back.
Despite being initially hailed as the future of British guitar music, the career of Lambeth quartet Palma Violets hasn’t exactly set the world alight thus far. Tonight, in front of a fairly packed house full of boozed up die-hards and their boss, Rough Trade head honcho Geoff Travis, the band prepare to rectify all that though and are in the middle of a full-scale Irish tour to road test new material and treat everyone to their impressive, face-melting live show.
Opening with ‘Rattlesnake Highway,’ from their debut album 180, the faithful at the front are pogo-ing along to the track’s pounding rhythm right from the get go and the song sounds much more powerful performed up close and personal than its recorded counterpart. ‘Danger In The Club,’ the first of four new tracks, is up next and it’s got a Richard Hell And The Voidoids kinda vibe while another newie, ‘Man Is Asleep,’ is full of fuzzy basslines and new wave sensibilities that suggests album number two could be very special if they can harness the band’s raw power.
Not ones for talking, the boys mostly keep their focus on kicking out the Iggy, Gun Club and Libertines-informed jams, but co-frontman Chilli Jesson does tell us that he’s chuffed with the turn-out tonight as “there were about four people at the gig in Limerick the previous evening.” Bless.
During the halfway point, the band lose the crowd a little, due partly to debuting ‘Matador’ and ‘Peter And The Gun’ (both of which are disjointed, slightly schizophrenic numbers which will take a few listens to sink in), but they’re back on steady ground with the anthemic, organ-led singalong ’14,’ sending the crowd home on a high and hopeful that PV’s second record will see them at their rabble-rousing best.