Palma Violets Middlesbrough Empire 24th March


A cold Sunday night in Middlesbrough where else would you rather be? The answer to that is a simple one inside The Empire keeping warm watching  fast rising stars, The Palma Violets. The last time we saw these boys was in October at The Westgarth and boy since then haven’t  they done well?

Tonight The Empire is packed with a mixture of young and old all waiting to see their new heroes.

The venue like every review always warrants a mention, it is a great building to look at from the outside and inside for gigs and club nights has all bases covered. They get the bands everyone wants to see, the bands everyone is talking about, its also just the right size, not too big so you can’t see the band yet not too small so at least you can stand with a beer and watch.

And a can of Red Stripe is £3, again a fair price to pay in a club.

The band arrive on stage about 9.30 pm to the sound of The Damned, A New Rose playing as their intro.

They launch into the set and tear through nearly every song from their debut album 180. The album is a good album but not a great one that will stand the test of time, in my view anyway. However they are young and have years ahead of them to improve and develop their song writing and as debuts go it is catchy.

One thing that is noticeable for me tonight is the keyboard player and the sound he generates. He really does give them a fuller sound and without him they would be a different band altogether.

Their bass player Chilli sings and plays his guitar like a mad man, charging around the stage as though his life depends on it.  Guitarist and the other vocalist Sam is the typical indie public school boy.

Debut single Best of Friends gets the mosh pit well and trully going for it, beer flying everywhere.

There’s even a mention of their Westgarth gig, Chilli announces from the stage “one of our favourite gigs of all time was at The Westgarth and now we are playing The Empire”

Highlights for me are Tom the Drum, All the Garden Birds and Rattlesnake Highway.

The band live are full of energy and play as though this is their last gig and watching them from the crowd remind me of The Clash and The Libertines.

The band end their set, go off and come back on for 2 final songs with some of their mates in tow, which to me was a bit wanky having them all jumping around acting like their cool but sadly not really!!!

Anyway the night ends we and everyone else grab some free stickers from the merchandise stand and make our way home.

To sum it all up a good night and a great change to my normal Sunday. Tea, then bed!

The Empire has some great nights planned, check out their website now for details at now.

By Andy on March 26, 2013

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