When a set starts off with the bass player jumping on the drum kit and accidentally unplugging his cord, the rest of the night could go either way. Luckily, after stomping on the pedal board and kicking an amp, Palma Violets‘ Chilli Jesson quickly recovered from his initial frustration and took the opportunity to dive into the crowd gathered at Boot & Saddle on Tuesday night, moshing along with fans to “Rattlesnake Highway.” It was already packed and sweaty, the night having started off on a loud note with New York’s SKATERS. When Palma Violets made their way through the crowd to the stage shortly before 10:30 p.m., the 150-capacity Broad Street venue felt near capacity – clearly, word has spread about the boisterous Lambeth, London foursome that topped both BBC and NME lists this year.
Following “Rattlesnake Highway,” Palma Violets moved swiftly through tracks off of their 2013 debut 180, reaching a climax at the “Chicken Dippers” > “Best of Friends” > “We Found Love” trifecta. A couple of unidentified new songs also wedged their way into the short but non-stop set, as did a cover of Canadian punk band Hot Nasties’ “Invasion of the Tribbles.”
Despite the obviously genuine chemistry between frontmen Jesson and Sam Fryer and the audience’s overwhelming admiration, the set felt more groomed and calculated than authentic. It probably didn’t help that before the band took the stage a “hype man” of sorts walked through the crowd, giving instructions on being energetic and engaged (he also appeared on stage during “Invasion of the Tribbles” to contribute some gang vocals).
But slight corniness aside (towards the end Jesson started howling and yelling “show me the money!”), Palma Violets delivered a show that turned Boot & Saddle into a rowdy underground London club for the night and that’s exactly what the crowd wanted.
If you have any questions about what kind of experience next week’s Palma Violets show at Boot & Saddle next week will be, one run-through of the South London band’s new video for “Rattlesnake Highway” can answer them. Using fan-shot footage from a series of recent live sets, the black and white clip captures the incredible energy and enjoyment both the crowd and the band have at the shows. From Palma Violets:
This is a message of thanks with a fresh little fix to send it home. The new video for Rattlesnake Highway is here and, as you you’ll soon see, we could not have done it without you.
Its the rampant and shameless spirit from all of you that’s thickened the air in every show and perpetuated the force of brash, pugnacious and debased effrontery.
Every single one of you thats been there; dancing screaming, contributing to the cacophony, you deserve a tip of the hat and hopefully you’ll get some of that from the new vid.
Tickets and information for the 21+ show with SKATERS can be found here. Watch the new video below and then check out a short clip of the band performing “Best of Friends” at an unofficial SXSW house show, shot by The Key’s John Vettese.
Rambunctious Brit-rock four-piece Palma Violets have announced a string of US tour dates, kicking off this September. The group will continue to tour in support of their debut full-length, 180, out now via Rough Trade. Their fall string of dates has them scheduled for a Philly stop on September 27th, for a show at Johnny Brenda’s. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, June 28th, at noon. Find more info here, and check out the video for their 180 track “Best Friends”, below.
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 cares. 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.