Claiming the cover of The NME before releasing a song could prove to be a curse as well as a blessing to South London’s Palma Violets. Such is the expectation that a fear of anti-climax hangs as heavy as anticipation when lights dim and the band come on stage.
Fears are blown away immediately by the energy, power and presence of front man Sam Fryer and bassist Chilli Jesson who also supplies backing vocals and enough crazed stage craft to propel the whole blistering set through to a ramshackle two song encore.
Earlier we saw York garage guitar band The Valmores begin the evening’s proceedings with a tight and well-received set that should reward them with more outings and a few new fans. Lead man Nathan Foley is one to watch.
Childhood are next up and have their own weight to bear when it comes to expectations. Tracks such as ‘Blue Velvet’ and ‘Paper Wave’ won fans and gained them a support slot with The Maccabees. Tonight when they hit stride it’s a seductive sound that they coax out of their array of effects pedals but for a small set there are not nearly enough killer songs.
Songs are almost an after thought when it comes to Palma Violets. The crowd greet ‘Best Of Friends’ like a well loved stadium anthem (it may very well become one too) despite having to search Youtube to get any hope of hearing it before its release later this month. They are very much making it up as they go along by the time they finish their set but nobody seems to mind one little bit as Mr Jesson dives head first into the crowd’s out-stretched arms. There is a definite feeling of having witnessed something a little bit special tonight.