So, with festival season now fully behind us, we reach the Autumnal period where
Bands who they want to build up plenty of hype for, just before votes for the Sound of 2013 are cast late this year. One such act are Palma Violets, signed (so the rumour goes) by Rough Trade supremo Geoff Travis on the strength of one song. Having spent the majority of their career to date playing packed-out basement shows in London, they’ve been set free to bring their brand of pysch-rock to the rest of the UK, with Nottingham as the opening date.
First up, however, are stable-mates Childhood. “We actually went to Uni here”, Ben Romans Hopcraft announces after their opening song, although sonically they’re probably closer to the US, with Real Estate an obvious comparison. They’ve changed drummers since The Mic saw them last but it’s the dual guitars of Hopcraft and Leo Dobsen that really shine, their hazy indie washing through the Bodega to fine effect.
Palma Violets take to the stage at the very un-rock’n’roll time of 9:15pm, but the kids at the front are revelling in the sweaty atmosphere. For a band with only one single and a handful of shaky live videos online, there is a discernible buzz in the room and the foursome’s show does not disappoint. Frontmen Sam Fryer and Chili Jesson have the kind of chemistry that will draw inevitable comparisons to the The Libertines, climbing on drums, amps, and people in their short time on stage. So they have the show, but do they have the songs? Well, the jury’s out. Single ‘Best of Friends’ has that star quality that sends the crows into raptures, and songs like ‘Rattlesnake Highway’ and ‘Tom the Drum’ are strong, but there’s a nagging concern that they should have spent a bit more time writing before setting out on this mammoth tour. The Sound of 2013? Not yet.
By Jonnie Barnett