3rd October 2012
As most of us know, the NME is an institution that loves hysterically over-hyping new bands and then, often, decimating their reputations, leaving them to play to crowds of around four punters in a pub, somewhere in rural Yorkshire.
Thus, it came as no surprise to see their latest test-subjects, Palma Violets, emblazoned across the magazine’s cover last week, before the band have any releases to their name. Tonight, then, I’m at the Deaf Institute to verify if there’s any justification to this of gang of four du jour’s hype.
First up are local lads Temple Songs. They play a pleasant selection of Kinksian tunes but it’s the next support, Childhood, who really capture the imagination. With a thrilling set of Ride-indebted shoegaze meets Stone Roses wah, they may soon taste success, but what of Palma Violets themselves?
The band soon swagger on, glowing with boyish dickhead-charisma and launch into action. At halfway, the Violets, it seems, are to some extent packing the tunes, and there are a few standouts within a decent set. ‘Fourteen’ and forthcoming single, ‘Best of Friends’ are both built around that classic, three-chord structure and are received with mosh-pit aplomb, though, it’s set closer ‘Brand New Song’, that looks the most likely to incite festival sing-along euphoria come next Summer.
Other than standard indie, the reference points are fairly obvious: the pop-noir of Nick Cave (whose t-shirt is sported by bassist Chili Jesson); the manic rattle of The Gun Club; the funereal organ, raw riffs and humour of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers. This latter combo should propel the band on their way to success, and, if they seem unoriginal tonight, their enthusiasm and antics onstage (with howling singer, Sam Fryer ending up head-over-arse at the end) more than compensate. Just don’t hold your breath for the next Strokes.