Purson © Melanie Smith
Purson © Melanie Smith

Purson © Melanie Smith

Purson

The Railway Venue, Bolton

22 January 2016

Purson played The Railway Venue Bolton on Friday, Louder Than War’s Nigel Carr (words) and Melanie Smith (photographs), were there to cover the show, and conduct an interview with Rosie, which you can read here.

It’s not often that I am blown away by something unexpected these days – I usually get what the deal is. You know that word Indie? played out across the music mags, over worked and overdone to the point of overkill? So how about something new, something that isn’t introverted, nervous, agitated ‘indie’ at all, whatever the hell that means any more.

Purson © Melanie SmithLadies and gentlemen I give you Purson, a five piece from Southend via London who might just be the next big thing!

Dripping in feedback, acid phase and backward guitars you’d swear they’d dropped in through a wormhole from the late 1960’s. They certainly look the part – fronted by Rosalie Cunningham, prodigious lead singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist, they’re the epitome of that decade’s psychedelic style, crushed velvet flares, crocheted waistcoats, long hair and tie dye tops.

The killer punch is the intertwining of 70’s progressive rock, (prog.),  into their sound. Think Hendrix squeezed into a liquidiser with The Small Faces, The Nice, Genesis and Deep Purple! Piercing, rock solid riffs, swirling organ and a meandering, thumping back beat that would have your once hip granny tripping out! Somehow it manages to sound totally fresh and vibrant – the confidence of Rosie’s vocals riding effortlessly over the top of this swelling maelstrom is completely captivating. She commands centre stage, looking like Joan Jett in the darkness but sounding like Grace Slick at her absolute best, her band rocking out around her.

The Railway in Bolton is a small venue on the edge of town but it’s rammed tonight, standing room only, shoulder to shoulder. Purson have played this place before and the crowd know what to expect.

They open with Desire’s Magic Theatre, the title track of their new album which comes out at the end of April. It sets the scene with a huge, thumping Glam beat that drifts off into pop/psych, freak out heaven before slowing elegantly to a close. Moonage Daydream from Ziggy Stardust is played in honour of Bowie’s recent death and sounds truly amazing. A fitting tribute, it’s tough and chunky and all the riffs are in the right place!

Danse Macabre is the stand out track off their Ep ‘In The Meantime’ – it’s a big song with a huge charging bass and back beat – a great big slab of prog. with an arching lead guitar and Rosie’s trademark, Grace Slick style vocal penetrating the storm.

Purson © Melanie Smith

The slightly poppier Mr Howard is another rock solid track with a huge hook and chorus that has me whistling it all the way home. It’s immediately followed by Electric Landlady, the band’s current single and album taster. The track is pure Hendrix, (are you surprised?), It’s Foxy Lady with a dreamy vocal, psyched up with an acid soaked middle eight that propels it forward before breaking in to an ear splitting riff courtesy of George Hudson. Nothing is quite as it seems, the song is lush and expansive like a lot of Purson’s stuff, fleshed out with a warm squelchy wash, all acid tinged, fresh and zesty.

They finish up with Wanted Man off the EP, In The Meantime – it’s a big swaggering number with drum solo to boot; a huge show tune that ends in an extended psychedelic freak-out, whipping up the crowd – a fitting end to an amazing show.

A lot of bands these days sound good but just don’t make the effort, they lumber around the stage in tatty jeans and t-shirts and whilst there is nothing particularly wrong with that, it is pretty dull and uninspiring. It’s not just about what they wear either, it’s the whole package – Purson’s unique sound, the lighting, the way the band commands it’s surroundings and that look – it’s a proper show, engaging, theatrical and thrilling and if I was a kid seeing them for the first time I’d be rushing out trying to look like them!

Photo gallery:


Please note: Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal. If you wish to use or license any images please contact mel@mudkissphotography.co.uk

UK HEADLINE TOUR DATES

MARCH

WED 09          BRISTOL, THE LOUISIANA

THU 10           NOTTINGHAM, ROCK CITY

FRI 11             NORWICH, WATERFRONT STUDIO

SAT 12            MILTON KEYNES, THE CRAUFURD ARMS            

WED 16          LONDON, 100 CLUB

THU 24           EXETER, THE CAVERN CLUB

FRI 25             PLYMOUTH, THE JUNCTION

SAT 26            SOUTHAMPTON, JOINERS

SUN 27           BRIGHTON, THE HOPE & RUIN                  

WED 30         BIRMINGHAM, THE SUNFLOWER LOUNGE

THU 31           MANCHESTER, NIGHT & DAY

APRIL                        

FRI 01            GLASGOW, AUDIO

SAT 02           LEEDS, THE BRUDENELL

New Album:  Desire’s Magic Theatre is out April 29th on Spinefarm / Machine Elf

Purson can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube

PursonRosalie Cunningham, George Hudson (guitars), Samuel Robinson (keyboards), Justin Smith (bass), Raphael Mura (drums)

All words by Nigel Carr. More writing by Nigel on Louder Than War can be found at his Author’s archive. You can find Nigel on Twitter and Facebook 

Photos by Melanie Smith. More work by Mel on Louder Than War can be found at her author’s archive. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Photography portfolio can be found here:mudkissphotography.co.uk.

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Nigel is Interviews & Features Editor at Louder Than War, freelance writer and reviewer. He has a huge passion for live music and is a strong supporter of the Manchester music scene. With a career in eCommerce, Nigel is a Digital Marketing consultant and runs his own agency, Carousel Projects specialising in SEO and PPC. He is also co-owner and Editor at M56 Media/Hale & Altrincham Life, and a Presenter on Radio Alty.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Pursun, with Rosalie Cunningham, are, in my opinion, tremendous. As a (very) ageing rock fan, they are the only group today that gets me as emotionally involved and excited (raised hair on the back of my neck) – as back in the (very) old days !

    For example, Electric Landlady has a superb sound reminiscent of Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music, but even better.

    For me Purson has arrived, and is here and IS the best thing (not “the next” one).

    • I whole heartedly agree, they have everything going for them and so refreshingly different. I for one can’t wait to see them again.

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