Palma Violets – Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds, 2nd October 2012

Palma Violets ~ 1

It is a dark, dank, miserable October night in Leeds.  Autumn is most surely upon us and the Yorkshire Evening Post’s front page merely adds to the sense of gloom, advising us as it does of the on-going sexual abuse claims being made against one of the city’s most famous sons. Were these allegations founded and were the man in question still with us he may well have been much more interested in the proliferation of teenage girls piling into the Nation of Shopkeepers on Cookridge Street rather than the reason for them doing so.  For they had braved the elements and all come to bear witness to four floppy-haired youths and this year’s much vaunted next best thing, Palma Violets.

Yet it is another four-piece guitar band who first hit the boards.  Childhood are strong on melody, presence and derivation and whilst they may well split the atom which connects The Cribs to Kings of Leon they are still deserving of a bigger stage. However, this evening it is one they are merely keeping warm for the likely lads from Lambeth. With the ink barely dry on their Rough Trade contract Palma Violets are clearly anxious to prove that all of their surrounding hype is justly deserved. They have the look, they have the moves (albeit courtesy of their two main men Sam Fryer and Chilli Hesson leaning heavily on each other and the quasi-homoeroticism of Barat and Doherty) and for 30 short minutes they nearly have the songs.  From Sex Beat to Fourteen all nine of them are uncut diamonds; each one a virtual one hundred and eighty second blast of raucous garage punk, shot through by the strains of Pete Mayhew’s Manzarak organ. But what these tunes may lack in finesse and polish they more than make up for in energy, drive and reckless abandon.  You sense Palma Violets may be standing on the edge of greatness and were the current musical landscape different and if Mr Savile wasn’t interred at a jaunty angle so he can look out over Scarborough’s North Bay, you feel sure he would be fixing it for them right now to appear on next week’s edition of Top Of The Pops.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.