Live Review: Palma Violets @ New Slang, Kingston

Palma VioletsIt’s Thursday night and one can barely move across the room. Palma Violets have evidently picked up great public interest – maybe it was the recent ‘Best New Band’ Award from NME. Or perhaps it’s due to their scruffy appearance; their Libertine-like vocals (and slight resemblance too); or their blending of punk music pioneers like The Clash, The Sex Pistols and The Jam…

Whatever it is, last night was punk-rock revival at its best.

The punchy, aggressive and bouncy ‘Rattlesnake Highway’ was the fuel to their 45-minute set, a track that screams, quite literally, The Ramones’ ‘Hey-Ho, Let’s Go’. What made it jump up a notch was the mutual interaction between bassist, Chili Jesson, guitarist, Sam Fryer, and their fans, who were on the verge of hysteria. By the time the first chord of their first single ‘Best of Friends’ escaped, all hell broke loose. The build-up, the tension, and the musical whirlpool that erupted shortly after, was delivered with so much passion and vigour.

There was none of that typical ‘frontman-is-the-centre-of attention’. Both were as involved in the orchestration of this tightly packed and intense session. ‘Tom the Drum’ stirred much agitation, with its Who-like guitar riffs, as did the piercing ‘Johnny Bagga’ Doughnuts’. The music beautifully flowed into every inch of the venue. Both the raggedy, roaring guitar riffs and the surf rock synth chords were merged with ease. ‘We Found Love’, ‘All the Garden Birds’ and their closing track ‘14’ proved the band’s worth.

Definitely a band to check out.

Rough, edgy, violent but still equally exhilarating, this is what punk rock was all about back in the day and Palma Violets have given us that nostalgic taste. You just have to look at the old school punk veterans occupying half of the territory amongst the audience.

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