God Is In The TV > Reviews > Live > LIVE: Blue Violet – The Fulford Arms, York, 08/05/2022

LIVE: Blue Violet – The Fulford Arms, York, 08/05/2022

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As the final strains of ‘Asylum’ – the last song of Blue Violet’s rather excellent set here tonight – drifts off into the ether, ‘Heaven Is A Place On Earth’ immediately kicks into the venue’s PA. Whilst it might be a bit of stretch to imagine that Belinda Carlisle had the Fulford Arms uppermost in her mind as she belted out her 1987 chart topper, it is still a mighty fine place to be on this Sunday evening.

The occasion is the ninth night of Blue Violet’s UK tour to promote their debut album Late Night Calls. Some two and a half years in gestation – a process delayed by the devastation wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic – the record finally saw the light of day last month. And it has been music well worth waiting for.

Rising from the ashes of their previous band Broken Bones Matilda, Blue Violet are the husband-and-wife duo of Sam and Sarah Gotley. The ravages of the tour have already robbed Sam of his singing voice but fortunately has done nothing to diminish the power and virtuosity of his guitar playing. Supported admirably by Dan and Martin on their respective keys and drums, the three men provide a solid platform from which Sarah’s voice positively soars.

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Informed, in part, by the classic ‘70’s rock of bands like Heart, Fleetwood Mac, and Foreigner, the basis of the Blue Violet sound is then transported a couple of decades hence and immersed in the more contemporary essence of Lush and The Sundays.

Blue Violet hit the ground running as they launch into recent single ‘Poster Girl’ and what will be the first of no less than eight songs to be drawn from Late Night Calls. ‘Poster Girl’ firmly embraces three of the central strands of Blue Violet’s DNA – melancholy, melodrama and melodic sunshine – as these elements combine to produce a seriously powerful and often poignant groove.

As they zig-zag across the new album, ‘White Beaches’, ‘Undercover’ and ‘Rabbit Hole’ follow in quick succession. In many respects Sarah Gotley is the focal point of Blue Violet, something that is accentuated tonight by her husband’s enforced absence from the microphone. Her voice, a strong versatile instrument is imbued with a softness of touch, most notably on the power-ballad ‘Halo’. She also invests Edwyn Collins‘A Girl Like You’ with huge emotional heft as she readily embraces the teenage lust that lies at the very heart of the song, her voice acting as the perfect counterpoint to Sam Gotley’s glorious guitar riff and delightfully demented solo. It is a triumph for this and any other Sunday evening you might care to mention.

Photos: Simon Godley

More photos from this show are HERE

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