Palma Violets: Sound Control, Manchester – live review



Palma Violets

Sound Control, Manchester

16th November 2015

Despite weather obstacle’s and a multitude of transport issues hitting Manchester city centre Sound Control, one of the city’s great live venues, mid-week Palma Violets gig was a full on sensory onslaught of joyous proportions performed to a packed house.

Taking to the stage as the last strains of The Supreme’s Stone Love fades: A possible insight flashes across my mind : Are the Palma Violets trying to tell us something about next summer or would that just be reading too much into some serendipitous timing? It’s a thought that is swiftly replace by the realisation that photographing this gig won’t be a: easy or b: happening and c: it’ll be more fun to sing and dance anyway. So as Peter and The Gun converted the audience from a relatively still, cheering mass into a hyper frenzy of limbs, hair and flying beer cups – a hurricane-force of organs, guitar and military beats sound-tracked the good natured  mayhem: a song of relative restraint on record certainly explodes live.

It’s a mix of passion, excitement and the occasion fanatical glint in the eyes of the front rows as the bulk of bodies whip back and forth – this way and that as Samuel Fryer and Chilli Jesson with an impressive display of visceral dexterity and balance play, sing and throw themselves about on stage through Rattlesnake Highway, On the Beach, English Tongue and We Found Love; barely with the breath to say how happy they were to be back in Manchester they manage to interlace the manic thrashings with the emotionally perplexing Matador. A poetic sprawling of a track that then meshes perfectly as they slide in with Step Up for the Cool Cats as the pace builds up again.

Palma Violets 18th November 2015 5Pete Mayhew is firmly at one with his keyboard tonight while Will Doyle has relentlessly marked out a strong hypnotic rhythm whilst hidden by blinding white strobes and smoke. With the calmest part of the set done Fryer and Jesson pitch themselves headlong back in a brawl with Best of Friends as the odd crowd surfer and shoulder sitter start springing up through the front section. Taking a spin in a washing machine filled with strobe lights while 120db of excellent guitar shredding is piped in would I expect be a similar experience to seeing the Palma Violets in a small club full of wholehearted people letting the music take control although in this situation we all made it out perfectly okay with just a few bruises to wince over the morning after.

The title track of their second album is a stand out tonight Danger in the Club regardless of its bitter rawness has quite the majestic melody. Palma Violets time signatures twist and turn without warning and tempos shift in a snap from fast to slow all adding to the sense of expectancy and liberty that you really only get to experience in a live setting such as this. Fifteen songs,  just an hour of noisy, uninhibited jubilance and the band are gone leaving only feedback for the house light to – without words silence the crowd from crying out for just one more.


The Palma Violets UK tour continues throughout November and into December dates are as follows:

22 NOVEMBER O2 Academy Brixton London (supporting The Vaccines)
23 NOVEMBER O2 Academy Brixton London (supporting The Vaccines)
24 NOVEMBER The Kazimier Liverpool
25 NOVEMBER Cambridge Corn Exchange Cambridge (supporting The Vaccines)
26 NOVEMBER O2 Academy Brixton London (supporting The Vaccines)
26 NOVEMBER Riverside 1 Newcastle Upon Tyne
27 NOVEMBER Òran Mór Glasgow
30 NOVEMBER Bournemouth International Centre Bournemouth
1 DECEMBER Motorpoint Arena Cardiff Cardiff, UK
3 DECEMBER Plymouth Pavilions Plymouth
4 DECEMBER Empress Ballroom Blackpool
5 DECEMBER The Leadmill Sheffield

For more information about ticket price and availability contact the venue directly or via the Palma Violets official website. Further Palma Violets information can be found on the bands Facebook page. Palma Violets also tweet as @PalmaViolets.


All words and photos by Katie Clare. More writing by Katie on Louder Than War can be found at her author’s archive. She can also be found on Twitter where she uses the handle @tokyo_katie.

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