Palma Violets / Lincoln Engine Shed – 19th November 2013

I’d been looking forward to seeing Palma Violets since enjoying their debut album; 180 which was released earlier this year. By the end of the night, I’m glad it only cost me a little over a tenner to see them. Here’s my review of one of the most disappointing gigs I’ve ever been to (and I’ve seen Dizzee Rascal twice!)… 


When you go to see a gig at the Engine Shed, you’re usually faced with a queue bigger than those found at Tesco on Christmas Eve. With doors opening at 19:00, I thought I’d be faced with such queue’s when I arrived at 18:50. This wasn’t the case however and I’ve seen bigger queue’s in the Post Office! After having a drink at Tower Bar, I was able to walk straight in to the venue at about 19:30. I knew ticket sales hadn’t been fantastic when I saw that they’d decided to have the partition half way across the venue like a standard Saturday night at Propaganda. My sister wanted to purchase a T-shirt from the merchandise stall which turned out to be a rather annoying experience as this is where we first caught a glimpse of the band’s extremely self-obsessed roadie/band ambassador/merchandise seller, Harry Violent. (more about him later). After heading to the bar and popping out to have a cigarette, it was time for the first support act; Baby Strange. Swaggering on to the stage like they owned the place, I had a feeling this band wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. Turns out, I was spot on with my prediction. I can’t even tell you the name of any of their song’s due to the lyrics being lost amongst the mediocre drumming and even more mediocre guitar playing. I’ll always give credit to anyone who can get on a stage and perform but I’ve seen more energy in half a berocca. This generally poor performance wasn’t helped by the aforementioned Harry attempting to get those near him to jump up and down and push each other around. Nobody was in the mood and I think most people just felt embarrassed by his actions. I guess this is the result of too much pre-gig drugs though. The second support act; Childhood were actually pretty good. I’ve heard of them before and viewed some of their live stuff on YouTube whilst watching other indie band’s performances. Sounding at times like a young Joy Division, you could actually hear the lyrics which this time, moulded well in to some decent guitar and drum playing. If you ever get the chance to see them perform as a support act, do so. I say as a support act because although they’re talented; I can’t envisage them becoming a popular, mainstream act. Not even in this booming indie scene.

Now it was time for the main event. The Pièce de résistance. The reason we were all there. Palma Violets. As the band graced the stage, it was clear from the off that arrogance had certainly got to their heads. Harry introduced them to the stage by saying…

It’s well documented that the only band’s that can get Lincoln moving is the Kaiser Chiefs and The Courteeners. Prove us wrong tonight! All you at the front, knock that fucking barrier down!!

Finding himself hilarious, not even the boo’s he received from the moment he opened his mouth could phase him and he rejoined the crowd to continue his quest in making everyone act like him. Some albums don’t transcend well when you hear it played live, 180 is definitely one of them. Playing most of their debut and a couple of new tracks, I knew the majority of the words. Unfortunately, what I was hearing didn’t make me want to sing along. Normally when I do live gig reviews, I review every song performed and give it the credit each deserves. Sadly; I feel that I can’t do it for Palma Violets. Most of the songs were unmemorable with the exception of Tom The Drum and Chicken Dippers which were the only glimmers of light at the end of this very very long tunnel. Best Of Friends is a great song. It’s a track that always gets the crowd moving at Transmission when it’s played but even here, when performed live, the crowd weren’t as interested as they should be. Granted, there were a lot of people jumping up and down and starting pits but do we really need a room full of Harry’s? When the band left the stage, about ten people started chanting “one more song!” By this point, I was hoping they’d had enough and wouldn’t bother. Unfortunately, they came back out, somehow even more arrogance had joined them. Chilli, the bass guitarist swaggered on stage smoking a cigarette thinking he was as cool as James Dean. Sam, the lead singer still had his sunglasses on which had remained throughout the whole set. We’ve all worn sunglasses inside before mate. Grow up. The end of the gig would see Harry join the band for one more song. His voice was even worse than his personality and that was absolute dire. The support acts also joined the stage and just shouted, ran about, skidded on their knees and in one final song; managed to make me regret my attendance. Next time, I’ll stay at home and eat these…

Parma VioletsWords by Robert Smith. (@robertmsmith)


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