The Palma Violets performed to an enthusiastic crowd at the Ironworks last Sunday, a crowd that was due in no small part to the two local support acts own fan-base.
The night kicked off with support from Bite Night. A local 4 piece who fit primarily into the indie-pop category although sometimes stray into more ‘rocky’ territory. Their style, sound and laid-back attitude wasn’t a million miles from the likes of the Arctic Monkeys.
I thought a wee bit of enthusiasm could have brought their cool set to a whole new level. Songs such as ‘City Pins’ and ‘Worlds Apart’ had a pleasant pop single feel to them. I’ve previously heard these boys being compared to the likes of Dire Straits and Thin Lizzy but song ‘City Pins’ screams Dexy’s Midnight Runners! The bands certainly are versatile. I hope to see Bite Night go onwards and upwards.
Next to the stage was Searching for Donkeys. Another Inverness based 4 piece but with a completely different sound. They gave a high energy performance to the appreciative crowd Searching for Donkeys seem to just fit together really well and gave an enjoyable upbeat performance.
The band describes themselves as ‘indie rock’ however I would say they lean more towards folk rock at times with the front acoustic going a bit Marcus Mumfordy at times. The band are so likeable, I’m sure they will continue to please crowds wherever they go!
The Palma Violets took to the stage in a flurry of noise and flashing lights and it was an all in, electric performance from the word go. The band formed in London in 2011 and since then have been gaining popularity, being heavily promoted by NME and the BBC. Their single ‘Best of Friends’ was voted song of the year in 2012 and for good reason, it’s a feel good, instant hit that got the crowd at the Ironworks singing along and jumping, in fact, I heard someone mention the word pogo.
Vocal responsibilities are shared between lead guitarist Samuel Fryer and bassist Alexander ‘Chilli’ Jesson. There is great chemistry between the pair. Both make for cracking front men, giving a real show with their dramatic air kicks and hair flicks. At one point ‘Chilli’ jumped onto the barrier in order to draw the audience nearer. Every song they played sounded like a grand, punky, finale.
Although the band have quite a distinctive sound, their performance was unpredictable and exciting to watch. Their sudden tempo changes and guitar shreds keep the audience on their toes…or jumping up and down on them to be more precise. Keyboard player Jeffrey Mayhew had his time to shine for their psychedelic single ‘Step up for the Cool Cats’ in which his keyboard played the part of a bellowing organ. Overall it was an exciting, refreshing performance that left a satisfying buzz of bass in your body and a ringing in your ears.
I don’t doubt that we’ll be hearing, and hopefully seeing, a lot more of the Palma Violets soon.
Many more photographs of Palma Violets, Searching for Donkeys and Bite Night on the evening.