Palma Violets' jawbreaker of a return
Review: Palma Violets at Tunbridge Wells'
Forum, Wednesday, January
By Chris Price
Who said bromance is dead?
Paul and John, Mick and Keith, Pete and Carl – add to that list
Chilli and Sam of Palma Violets, who owned the Forum when the
four-piece made their first live appearance for three months this
The pair made the aforementioned double acts seem more like
Simon & Garfunkle than riotous rock heroes, in a raucous
45-minute set which saw them stage diving and moshing with
In a week when the Forum is also welcoming Foals and Frank
Turner as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations, the band
marked the occasion by slipping in two new live tracks.
The tracks – called Three Stars and Johnny Bagga Donuts – were
the icing on the cake for the rowdy sell-out crowd, who got going
in earnest when the band dropped debut single Best of Friends.
As they prepare to set off on the NME Awards tour next month,
the Lambeth-based foursome looked as if they had been let off the
leash after spending three months holed up in a studio with
Pulp bassist and producer Steve Mackey.
Their debut album, 180, is due out on Monday, February 25 and
looks set to send them the way of acts like the Vaccines and
Mumford and Sons, who kicked off successful breakthrough years with
gigs at the Forum in 2011 and 2009 respectively.
Looking fired up and a little worse for wear, bassist Chilli
Jesson set the tone early on by encouraging the crowd to set up a
mosh pit – a request which was duly obliged.
As he leant against, hugged and shared a mic with guitarist Sam
Fryer, many will have drawn comparisons between them and the
Libertines’ Pete Doherty and Carl Barat.
Their chemistry set the crowd off and – given their beginnings
playing sweaty shows in their home studio in south London – it is
hard to imagine them playing a venue of any greater size and having
the same connection.
That is not a worry for now, though. Let’s allow Palma Violets
to lap up their immanent sweet success.
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