Live Review: Palma Violets, Roadmender, Northampton

Pictures by David Jackson
Pictures by David Jackson

Palma Violets are rapidly approaching ‘difficult second album’ territory.

Since forming in 2011, the London quartet have been championed by the NME and BBC, picking up Sound Of nominations and ‘Track of the year’ accolades along the way.

Next week, they release their new album, Danger In The Club, the follow up to 2013’s debut 180.

To coincide with its release, the band is on the road and headlined the Roadmender in Northampton on Tuesday with Ming City Rockers in tow.

Both Ming City Rockers and Pala Violets occupy a certain riotous-indie rock chasm, vacated by The Libertines many years ago which has really been permanently filled.

With arguably less weight on their shoulders, Ming City Rockers put in a hell of shift, seriously threatening to upstage Palma Violets.

Fronted by guitarist and singer Clancey Jones, the band tore through a set of tracks from their self-titled debut.

Palma Violets’ set was a pretty even split between material from their debut and their forthcoming album.

The inclusion of keyboard player Jeffery Mayhew brought an extra dynamic to their sound.

After opening with Secrets of America, they rattled through a couple of tracks from 180 before recent single English Tongue gave a promising glimpse that Danger In The Club will be picking up where its predecessor left off.

The Roadmender crowd exploded into life as the opening chords of Best of Friends rung out across the venue, with masses of teens singing along to its chorus.

Palma Violets put in a suitably chaotic performance, with mic stands knocked to the floor on numerous occasions before ending proceedings with Rat Way Rock which in turn morphed into a partial cover of Bob Dylan’s Death Is Not The End.

Despite playing to a Roadmender which was pretty packed, Parma Violets kept the chat to a minimum, with frontman Sam Fryer pausing only to praise the Northampton venue.

The band returned to race through an encore which ended with 14 and cumulated with instruments flung to the ground and drum kit lying in pieces across the stage.

After all the hype, the jury is still out on whether Palma Violets can be the torchbearers of the indie scene some are desperate for them to be.

Live, they tick a lot of the ‘raucous indie / garage rock’ boxes but with a bit of a wider dynamic.

The glimpse into album number two they gave those packed inside the Roadmender suggests Danger In The Club has some of the hooks of its predecessor and will hopefully be the second album they need to deliver.

Palma Violets played:

Secrets of America

Rattlesnake Highway

Tom the Drum

Girl, You Couldn’t Do Much Better On The Beach

English Tongue

We Found Love


All the Garden Birds

Best of Friends

Last of the Summer Wine

Johnny Bagga’ Donuts

Rat Way Rock


Chicken Dippers

Gout! Gang! Go!

Danger In The Club

Walking Home