Dubbed the next libertines, Palma violets have taken the indie rock scene by storm, blasting the now ‘been-there-done-that-heard-it-all-before, indie dance pop out of the water with their painfully cool and explosively refreshing rock ‘n’ roll.
Reminiscent of an early Clash meets Jonathon Richmond’s Modern Lovers, Palma Violets are proof that guitar music is not dead and are certainly what the music industry has been gasping for. Front partnership Chilli Jesson (bass) and Sam Fryer (guitar), keyboardist Pete Mayhew and drummer Will Doyle make up London’s latest offering. Rumours of secret underground gigs and sketchy living conditions, teamed with the fact they are merely a few months old, only add mystery to the ever growing hype. It’s all very rock and roll.
Leeds’ very own Nation Of Shopkeepers held host to the London foursome on the first Tuesday in October, who, even in their fairly short existence managed to pack the place out with an impressive number of denim/leather jackets. Childhood (band/full time university students) gently warm up the crowd- with a little help from Palma Violets very own Chilli, who thrashes around in front of the stage to the synth-y almost psychedelic sounds of his own support- proof from the start that this night really does belong to the Lambeth lads.
Launching into rattle snake highway a song that starts as something to be compared to the Ramones ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ but turns into something clever enough lyrically to make Joe Strummer proud. ‘Happy Endings’ provokes some audience participation, which stirs the crowd into frenzy, climaxing with a heroic leap from Chilli, who crowd surfs in a room where everybody seems to lose their last scrap of dignity and make a crazed lunge for the future star- but I guess it’s something these boys are going to have to get used too. The explosion into ‘Best Of Friends’ –a song previously described as a ‘1978-meets-2001 time warp’- receives the most ecstatic of responses complete with full audience recall. We also see the full extent of the chemistry between the two vocalists as they throw themselves around the stage, no one knows if they are about to start hugging or punching each other. It’s a tension to rival Pete and Carl. Finishing on ‘Fourteen’ (a bus considered a savior by Sam and Chilli) and a song written in a state of such intoxication it left no memory. This front double certainly have the lifestyle to match the music and could most definitely prove to be another Great British duo to match the likes of, ‘Strummer and Jones’, ‘Moz and Marr’ and ‘Pete and Carl’ before them.
One thing’s for sure: Palma Violets are definitely ones to watch.
Co-written by Caitlin McLoughlin and Abi Foster