We were in Zurich tonight to see for the first time Palma Violets in concert. In a few months these 4 young lads from Lambeth, London, got on the cover of the NME, their first single: “Best of Friends” got nominated song of the year 2012, they released their first album and they will be playing all the major european festivals this summer (Glasto included).
We were very curious to see with our own eyes if all we read in the british press was true. Are they really the future of british indie-rock’n’roll?
The answer to our question will be very clear after the exciting 65min high-speed punk’n’roll set they delivered tonight in front of an ecstatic crowd @Exil. The voice of Sid Vicious singing “Something Else” (from the movie The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindon) welcomes the band on stage punctually at 21.15 and it’s a punk-war declaration. They kick-off the show with Johnny Bagga Donuts sung by bass player Chili Jesson that sets the bar pretty high in terms of energy and in-your-face attitude jumping right and left spitting words in the face of the first rows a few centimeters from him. After a quick “Hello” to the crowd comes Rattlesnake Highway followed by All The Garden Birds that sees guitarist Samuel Fryer taking the mic while Mr Chili takes care of spicing up the swiss fans.
On Tom the Drum a small and concentrate pogo starts agitating the crowd and it’s impossible to stay put while they deliver an furious version of Chicken Dippers. There are no breaks, Palma Violet’s high-pace set doesn’t give you time to breath when soon-to-be-anthem as Best of Friends kicks off in power rapidly followed by their second single Step Up for the Cool Cats (that reminds us of the Monkeys I’m a Believer). Last of the Summer Wine reveals the influence of the Arctic Monkeys while We Found Love has a more Kasabian-esque taste. 14 closes the first part of the set in glory as the pogo grows in energy and dimension with people almost falling on the stage while the bands plays.
2 minutes of short break in the backstage (the first since the beginning of the gig) before hell breaks loose @Exil in Zurich. The bands comes back on stage setting the german-speaking crowd on fire with the ein/zwei/drei of the lyrics in Invasion of the Tribbles, a cover from Canadian underground punk band The Hot Nasties. The excitement in the venue reaches its peak as half of the band (Bass and Keyboard) jump in the middle of the bunching mega pogo. Brand New Song closes the punk-hour of the Palma Violets set with Chilli’s crowd incendiary show: the bass player first destroys his mic stand then invites the crowd to a small stage invasion that brings the gig to an end. All too soon.
All this in 65 only minutes that went by too fast. Indie Rock and Punk fused in its best expression. Palma Violets are probably the first band born by the influences of the 2nd wave of indie rock’n’roll of the past decade (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Kings of Leon). They managed to take the best from these bands to master their song writing and finding their own sound. Their songs are made to be played live and sounds much better than on the record. William Doyle on the drums beats those skins like there’s no tomorrow. Chilli and Samuel interact and switch lead vocalist role in pure Libertines’s style. Bass player Chilli is simply a stage animal, with punk-style attitude and energy.
Are Palma Violets the future of British indie rock’n’roll? It’s a bit early to say. what we can affirm today is that tonight they managed to win a historically shy swiss crowd, delivering 65 minutes of pure rock’n’roll. We look forward to hear more from them so that they can extend their high-speed trips as their repertoire will grow.
We will ask them one favor: please, stay young, punk and invincible like you were tonight. As long as you don’t lose this spirit. and you keep this attitude, indie rock is in good hands.
Hey Hey, My My, don’t miss out if you have Palma Violets in town
Palma Violets – Exil, Zurich, 04/04/2013 Setlist:
- Johnny Bagga Donuts
- Rattlesnake Highway
- All The Garden Birds
- Tom the Drum
- Chicken Dippers
- Best of Friends
- Step Up for the Cool Cats
- Last of the Summer Wine We Found Love
- (Encore) Invasion of the Tribbles The Hot Nasties cover
- (Encore) Brand New Song