British punk rock band Palma Violets stage a return to Philadelphia tonight with a show at Johnny Brenda’s. The South London-bred four-piece is touring in support of their debut album 180, named for a venue in Lambeth, London where the band got its start. To get a sense of their raucously wild live show, check out a recap of Palma Violet’s SXSW house party here. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with The Orwells can be found here. Watch their Beatles-esque video for “Last of the Summer Wine” below.
In their new video for “We Found Love,” London-based rockers Palma Violets search for companionship in a dimly lit, red and blue hued underground dance party, find it for a drunken moment and are then brought back to sober reality with the rising sun. Making a huge impact in the London music scene before releasing any recorded material, the garage / punk influenced four-piece put out their debut LP 180(named after the South London club that acted as breeding ground for the band) earlier this year via Rough Trade. Palma Violet’s play Johnny Brenda’s on May 8th; tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here. Watch the video below and check out recap of their raucous SXSW appearance last month here.
Let’s begin with the last thing I remember: it was 2 in the morning and Palma Violets was raging away in a nondescript building on the University of Texas campus. Before leaving London for this year’s South by Southwest festival, the buzzing Brit-rock four piece made a petition to their fans on Facebook: “we like intimacy, as do you if you got any taste. We wanna play a HOUSE PARTY in Austin.” The folks at Pearl Street Co-op took them up for their unofficial SXSW showcase – near as I can figure, this place falls somewhere between a student activity center and a rock n’ roll frat a la Philly’s Pi Lam – and the result was a gloriously sloppy, riotous rock and roll show.
To dispense with the obvious criticism – these guys are a wreck in concert. They play so loudly their vocal mics get caught up in an awful, unstoppable feedback loop with their amplifiers. They put so much energy into jumping around and dancing in a frenzy that they unwittingly unplug their instruments and topple the various parts of their drum kit. Repeatedly. When drummer Will Doyle hit his crash cymbal so loud that half of his drums disappeared off the riser, all he could do was laugh until his road manager set them back up.
But that’s okay. This band isn’t about that brand of rock that’s precisely performed but deficient in personality. Palma Violets is anti-humdrum, it’s about embracing the energy of their songs and tossing it back and forth with the crowd. Dualing vocalists Sam Fryer (guitar) and Chili Jesson (bass) play off of one another as much as they do with the front row, sharing the microphones with the fans, encouraging participation in a vocal and physical sense. “Is it Wednesday?” asked Jesson. “Is it Thursday? Who cars. It’s the new Friday.” And the crowd pogoed along, mouthing words to just about every song – even the ones they didn’t know. It was a free-for-all, a release, a celebration. This is a feeling that would be absent in a more formal setting, with less instrument breakage and more performance precision. And this is why, sloppy or not, this was the environment to see Palma Violets.
Below, watch 44 seconds of both band and crowd freaking out to their single “Best of Friends.” Check back for more SXSW dispatches through Sunday; this afternoon, we’ll recap the NPR Music showcase at Stubb’s.
It’s pretty impossible not to get swept up in Palma Violets single “Best of Friends.” The rousing tune from the emergent British four-piece is the kind of Buzzcocks-y screamalong tune you pump your fist to as you’re slam-dancing around a packed and sweaty rock club. Of course it begs the question – does the rest of the buzz band’s music hold up? Or is this, like, Arctic Monkeys syndrome? As of this morning, Palma Violets is streaming their new full-length album, 180, so you can decide for yourself.
I’ve got this to say: their single is certainly a tough act to follow, and making it the first track on the album is either foolhardy hubris or massive confidence in the ten tracks that follow. And, so far, I’m thinking it’s the latter. I definitely annoyed everybody in my general vicinity by drumming along to the punchy beat on “Set Up For The Cool Cats,” and now I’m humming to the swaggery sing-song “All The Garden Birds.” Solid stuff. Listen below, and see what you think. And hey, you might want to have this link handy – since the band is playing Johnny Brenda’s on May 8, and it’s bound to sell out well before then.
In case you missed their Philly debut on a chilly Tuesday night at Kung Fu Necktie last week, you’ll have a chance to catch buzzing UK rock band Palma Violets in a much more warmer climate. The band announced its spring tour dates this morning, and it comes to Johnny Brenda’s on Wednesday, May 8th. Their album 180 is out via Rough Trade Records on March 19, and it is a total blast – think the swagger and scuzzy fidelity of early Strokes married to totally catchy Brit-rock hooks a la The Buzzcocks. Rock out to their video for “Best of Friends” below.
For The Key’s final Tuesday Tune-Out at PhilaMOCA tonight, Hop Along frontwoman Frances Quinlan will perform a rare solo set of brand-new songs. Her local pop / punk band released the impressive and intricate Get Disowned in 2012, pairing pop hooks with punk arrangements and Quinlan’s honest vocals. Following the set, Quinlan will screen a 1950s Fellini film that gave an early Hop Along song its name. Admission is a suggested $5 donation for this all-ages show. For more information, visit the Facebook event page here. Below, stream “Tibetan Pop Stars” from Get Disowned.
UK garage act Palma Violets have announced a US tour which includes a stop at Kung Fu Necktie on January 29th. The indie rock outfit have been rising as a set to watch, with their hit “Best of Friends” from their Best of Friends / Last of The Summer Wine EP winning NME‘s Track of The Year. The band’s currently untitled first full-length album is scheduled for release February 25th through Rough Trade Records. Tickets for the 21+ show can be found on our concert calendar here. Below, check out the video for “Best of Friends.”