Emily Barker enters Dares Bar in Birmingham for a retro night of rock'n'roll, Motown and northern soulWritten by Emily Barker on 3rd December 2016
Redbrick meets… Palma Violets
It’s tough being a buzz band these days
It’s tough being a buzz band these days. The ‘buzz’ is less the excitement of a new band on the stratosphere and more the descent of angry mobs intent on blasting your every move to pieces.
“"As long as they come down [to a show] and then slag me off I don’t care."
Sitting on what can only be described as the lowest sofa I’ve ever sat on, in the upstairs room of a slightly grimy and well-abused venue there’s a sense that these are the circuits that Palma Violets regard most fondly. ‘The intimate shows are much better because you can do whatever you want there, you can kind of control the crowd to an extent. We try to get people on the stage whenever we can, people love it. It’s just the best feeling when you get on stage with a band you like.’ It’s this punk ideal that drives the band, and this tour in particular, ‘We wanted to do an old punk tour. No-one seems to do these places like…y’know Preston or Hull, we wanted to reach everyone. Especially because they don’t have much of a sense of a music scene and stuff.’
Being a band rooted in London the obvious tour highlight would surely be a hometown show, but Palma Violets insist their stand out gig was Middlesbrough; ‘We played in this social club but it looked like something out of the 1970s, like you know you see that early footage of the Sex Pistols? It was punk; you couldn’t get any more punk than that…everyone kind of knew each other in the crowd as well. The promoter was a head teacher at a primary school, which was amazing because for them it wasn’t really a business, he wasn’t doing it for money. It wasn’t just young kids it was like adults, old punks, skins, rockers, and it just went mental.’
“"We played in this social club but it looked like something out of the 1970s. It was punk; you couldn’t get any more punk than that"