Watch Palma Violets rambunctious new video ‘Rattlesnake Highway’ – Premiere

Palma Violets

Palma Violets

London rockers draw upon their outrageous live shows in new clip

Like any meaningful relationship or a really good taco stand, music with true, long-lasting value has a tendency to hit you when least expected.

Assembled sometime in 2011, English rockers Palma Violets (bassist/vocalist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, guitarist/vocalist Sam Fryer, keyboardist Peter Mayhew, and drummer Will Doyle) don’t so much play on stage as they conquer it like 6th century barbarians.

They are known for their rowdy, balls-to-the-wall live shows. We’ve seen them beat the hell out of their songs at Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, SXSW 2013, and  Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show. Now, their dynamic stage presence is the focus of their new music video for 180 standout “Rattlesnake Highway”.  Directed by Douglas Hart, the clip  intercuts with some outrageous archival footage of Pentecostal snake handlers., but mostly awesome live footage that makes you want to see Palma Violets in the flesh ASAP.

See Palma Violets up close and personal on their extensive fall/winter tour, including appearances at Treasure Island Music Festival and The Weezer Cruise.

Palma Violets 2013-2014 Tour Dates:
10/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
10/09 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/12 – Mexico City, MX @ Capital Corona Festival
10/14 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos Crystal Ball
10/15 – Vancouver, BC @ TBA
10/16 – Portland, OR @ McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom
10/18 – Berkeley, CA @ University of California, Berkeley
10/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival
10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
11/02 – Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg Oude Zaal
11/03 – Brussels, BE @ Ancienne Belgique
11/09 – Sao Paulo, BR @ Planeta Terra Festival
11/14 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Planeta Terra Festival
11/18 – Wolverhampton, UK @ Wulfrun Hall
11/19 – Lincoln, UK @ Engine Shed
11/21 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Metropolitan University
11/22 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK @ Newcastle University
11/23 – Glasgow, UK @ O2 ABC
11/25 – Norwich, UK @ Waterfront
11/26 – Manchester, UK @ The Ritz
11/28 – Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy Oxford
11/29 – Coventry, UK @ Kasbah
11/30 – Plymouth, UK @ University Main Hall
12/02 – Southampton, UK @ Southampton University
12/03 – Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy Bristol
12/04 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
12/05 – London, UK @ Coronet Theatre
02/13-17 – Jacksonville, FL @ The Weezer Cruise

Roxy Music: the band that broke the sound barrier

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This article is about the English art-rock band. For their self-titled debut album, see Roxy Music (album).

or Avant Rock Group

Original, creative, adaptable,

melodic, fast, slow, elegant, witty

scary, stable, tricky…

“Roxy” 223 0296

Musician wanted advert,

Melody Maker, 1971

There’s a certain sort of glam-rock fan who never ceases to be blown away by the fact that Bowie played a character, the imaginary rock star Ziggy Stardust. That same certain sort of glam fan never stops being thrilled by the nerve and verve of Roxy Music giving a credit on their debut LP to the person who did their clothes, hair and makeup. Supposedly this was a dissident blow against rock’s anti-fashion stance. Cutting through the stale dope-smoke fug of the hippie hangover, Roxy were “the first true band of the 70s”. But they also prophesied the 80s, their celebration of posing and artifice anticipating postmodernism, the new romantics, the Face, pop video and self-reinventing superstars like Madonna.

Which isn’t untrue, but isn’t the whole truth either. It’s hardly the case that Roxy or Bowie invented the idea of image or were the first rockers to have close relationships with designers and stylists. Most 1960s British bands took an interest in clothes and hair. Nor were Bowie or Roxy’s Brian Eno the first flamboyantly androgynous figures in rock. On the record sleeve and in the promo film for Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby?, the Stones wore women’s clothing four years before Bowie put on a frock for the cover of 1970’s The Man Who Sold the World.

Still, it is true that around 1970-71, rock got awfully drab looking, with countless denim-clad blues-bore and boogie bands, dressed-down singer-songwriters and country-rock outfits, and virtuoso players too wrapped up in their endless soloing to bother with stagecraft. “Everything went flat,” recalls Phil Manzanera, the guitarist who responded to Ferry’s “avant rock” ad and eventually got the job. “A lot of musicians were getting strung out on heavy drugs,” he tells me. “They were out of it, so they weren’t even bothering to wear kaftans or other hippie stuff, which had been stylish in their own way.” Then, with the emergence of Roxy Music and Bowie in 1972, “suddenly there was colour and exoticism and the spirit of rock’n’roll again. We supported Bowie at the Greyhound in Croydon in June 1972: Bowie in his full Ziggy Stardust gear and us in all our regalia, performing to just 150 people in this little upstairs room. It was a tiny stage but it had theatrical lighting, so you had to wear make-up because that’s what theatre people do, otherwise you look washed-out.”

John Lennon once quipped that glam was just rock’n’roll with lipstick. Glam historians tend to emphasise the lipstick at the expense of the rock’n’roll; they focus overly on the gender-bending rather than the genre-bending. In Roxy’s case, the attention paid to the group’s fashion world connections, pop art allegiances and other extra-musical credentials threatens to overshadow their achievements as a rock band. In truth, Eno’s feather boas, Bryan Ferry’s gaucho look of 1974… they haven’t aged that well. It’s hard to believe that wearing a white dinner jacket was ever a big deal. Even the celebrated covers of the first five albums, with their lingerie-clad models, look cheesy and chauvinist these days (apart from the still-edgy sleeve of For Your Pleasure, a perversely stylised shot of Amanda Lear walking a panther). The music, though, remains timeless in its weirdness and wildness.

What gets swept under the carpet by the “first true band of the 70s” argument is that the Roxy Music of the first three albums is a post-psychedelic outfit: as much progressive rock as glam rock. Manzanera recalls listening recently for the first time in ages to The Bob (Medley), the six-part song-suite on 1972’s Roxy Music, a sort of “mini-movie” concept piece about the second world war. “This guy is remixing our debut LP in 5.1 surround sound, so I was listening to The Bob and I was laughing. It’s pure prog. The whole of that first album sounds so weird. It’s such a mish-mash of stuff. Roxy just wouldn’t get signed today.”

Those who view Roxy as pioneers of surface-deep postmodern pop regard the band as radically opposed to the earthy earnestness of what was then known as the underground: long-haired, beardy bands like Soft Machine and Family who played the college gig circuit, recorded sessions for John Peel, appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test and got written up in Melody Maker. But Roxy’s earliest champions were, in fact, John Peel, who invited them to record a session for his show, Melody Maker‘s Richard Williams, who got the hype ball rolling, and management company EG, whose other clients included King Crimson and ELP, and who hitched Roxy up with Island Records, the leading progressive label of the era. At one point Ferry actually auditioned to be King Crimson’s singer. And before Manzanera got the gig, the group’s guitarist was David O’List, formerly of the Nice, the original prog band.

Early on, Ferry went along with the progressive scene’s disdain for chart pop, declaring: “We’re not a singles band, really. I certainly don’t want to find myself sliding down the Slade/T Rex corridor of horror.” Even in hindsight, he recalled that Roxy “didn’t think we were as commercial as what other people were doing… When we started, I think we thought we’d be a kind of art-student band, and that’s as far as it would go… King Crimson were one polar extreme, Bowie was the other and we were in the middle. I was astounded when we had a hit record.”

More than half the band – Manzanera, Eno, Andy Mackay, Paul Thompson – came from experimental music, trippy-proggy or heavy rock backgrounds. “We had some weird things that other bands didn’t have, like someone playing oboe,” Manzanera says of Mackay, who was classically trained and whose interest in the avant garde later resulted in the fine book Electronic Music. Manzanera’s previous band were Quiet Sun, an outfit influenced by Zappa, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine, while drummer Thompson worshipped Led Zep’s John Bonham. A fan of minimalist composers like Steve Reich, Eno was a non-musician who supplied Roxy with irruptions of abstract synth and tape effects: things that were “part of experimental electronic music”, recalls Manzanera, “but we used them in the context of songs”.

The songs themselves weren’t exactly conventional either. Some, like The Bob or If There Is Something were more like several songs joined together. Others, like the first two singles, Virginia Plain and Pyjamarama, would be judged unfinished by the standards of hit factories like the Brill building or Motown. Neither has a chorus, just a single verse melody repeated.

This minimalist aspect to Roxy Music came from one of the motley crew’s few shared passions: the Velvet Underground. But there were also upsurges of maximalism, acid rock flashbacks like the second half of In Every Dream Home a Heartache, with its phased drumming and gaseously billowing guitar. “That was my chance to vent my inner psychedelia,” Manzanera laughs. Even more far out is the title track/finale to For Your Pleasure, especially its hallucinatory extended coda of pointillistic piano trills, like the Milky Way going down the cosmic plughole. The product of the strong bond Manzanera formed with Eno, For Your Pleasure is comparable with Hendrix circa Electric Ladyland or Tim Buckley’s Starsailor in its use of the studio and recording tape as a canvas for sound painting.

In late 1973, looking back at the first two Roxy albums not long after he was pushed out of the band, Eno enthused about the music’s “insanity… the element of clumsiness and grotesqueness”, the “terrific tension”, caused by the group “juxtaposing things that didn’t naturally sit together”. Even after Eno’s departure, Manzanera continued to pursue the absurdism and studio-boffin experimentation on the third album, Stranded. Amazona, for instance, is split apart by an indescribably strange guitar solo midway between a fire storm and a gigantic bubble machine. It sounds like the work of several guitarists but it’s just Manzanera playing through a complex relay of distortion, repeat echoes and vari-pitch, using a specially built contraption that worked just once. That first and only take is what you hear on the album.

Amazona was the first song on a Roxy album for which Manzanera received a credit. Because music publishing operates according to an antiquated, pre-rock conception of composition that rewards those who write the top-line melody and lyrics, most Roxy tunes are credited solely to Ferry. “It goes back to Tin Pan Alley and the 1930s,” says Manzanera. “Eno’s synth part on Ladytron, Andy’s oboe parts – that came from them. Each member was contributing to the music and to all the arrangements. I like to think that we produced the musical context for Bryan to put his vision into. But that’s not reflected in the publishing.”

It’s all the more unfair because, according to Manzanera, from about halfway through For Your Pleasure and onwards, the band would write “the music first – all the music, including the solos. Then Bryan would listen to it and try to write a top-line tune and words. When it worked, it was absolutely brilliant. Because none of us knew what the song was going to be about until he recorded the vocal. Imagine, you’ve been working on Love Is the Drug for absolutely ages, with no idea that it’s even going to be called Love Is the Drug. Then Bryan turns up, and he sings it, and we’re like, ‘bloody hell, we’ve got a single’.”

Rather than the players “backing” their singer/leader, then, it would be more accurate to say that Ferry fronted them: many of Roxy’s greatest songs would never have been written in the absence of what had been generated first by the musicians. Which is not to downplay the importance of Ferry’s “completion” role. Stranded‘s high point, Mother of Pearl, would be a fabulous instrumental but it would not have a fraction of its emotional power without Ferry’s words or his incredible vocal performance, where every line, every word even, is delivered with a deranged archness of emphasis, suffusing the entire song with bitter, poisoned campness. In purely musical terms, Ferry’s greatest invention is his voice on the first two albums, the reptilian vibrato that paved the way for neurotic new wave mandroids like Gary Numan and Devo. As much as the jarring and jolting music, Ferry’s grotesquely stylised singing contributed the aspect of “insanity” that Eno valued in early Roxy.

There’s no doubt that Roxy was Ferry’s “baby”. He formed the group and formulated its overall vision and framing. But, curiously, what becomes apparent as you follow the band’s arc through the eight albums (plus one double CD of B-sides and outtakes) corralled in the new box set, The Complete Studio Recordings, is that as Ferry gradually asserts total control over the band, the music becomes less characterful. The individuality of the players, that strange “mish-mash”/mismatch Manzanera speaks of, starts to fade, and so too does the collective character of Roxy as an entity set apart from the landscape of pop.

This smoothing-out begins to set in circa 1974-75 with Country Life and Siren. It’s in full swing with the reformed Roxy of Manifesto and Flesh + Blood, where Roxy are playing the game of pop according to the radio and dance-floor rules of the disco/new wave late 70s and early 80s. And playing it well: there’s no denying the grace of Oh Yeah and Over You, and the shimmer and shiver of Same Old Scene.

The same syndrome affects the lyrics: the verbosity and over-ripeness of the early albums goes, but so too does the imagistic vividness, the unclassifiably mixed emotions. “Songs like Mother of Pearl had masses of words,” recalls Manzanera. “In Roxy’s first five years there’s a lot more witty metaphors and wordplay. But it got more serious gradually, and by the end you had a bunch of haikus, virtually.”

By Avalon and its big single More Than This, the sound is all patina, glistening with professionalism and perfectionism. The words sketch the barest suggestion of mood; the voice, once so blood-curdling and startling, has become a debonair croon, evoking just a faded and jaded gentility. Ferry has not just annulled the personalities of Manzanera and Mackay, who might as well be session players like the other hirelings credited, he’s erased himself too. Immaculate background music, Avalon could be seen as Ferry’s own version of ambient music: an “I can do that too” riposte to Eno’s reputation as doyen of the cutting edge. A triumph, in its way, but also a tragic inversion of everything that made Roxy so arresting.

Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Art rock, glam rock, protopunk, pop rock, baroque pop, progressive rock
Years active 1971–1976, 1979–1983, 2001–present
Labels Island, E.G., Virgin
Reprise/Warner Bros.
Associated acts The Explorers, 801
Members Bryan Ferry
Andy Mackay
Paul Thompson
Phil Manzanera
Past members Graham Simpson
Roger Bunn
Dexter Lloyd
Brian Eno
David O’List
John Porter
Peter Paul
Rik Kenton
Sal Maida
Eddie Jobson
John Gustafson
John Wetton
Rick Wills
Jimmy Wyllie
Paul Carrack
Alan Spenner
Gary Tibbs
Andy Newmark
Neil Hubbard
Jimmy Maelen

Palma Violets Interview – Chilli

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Palma Violets
This ecstatically fun U.K. punk band built a following the old-fashioned, DIY way, skipping the trendy London club circuit to make its own scene in its sleepy Lambeth neighborhood. The Palma Violets’ great debut LP, 180, recalls the Clash and Sixties garage rock. It’s a classic British sound that’s been missing from British rock lately. “In London right now, it’s a very Nineties dream-pop thing,” says bassist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson. “We don’t have anything against it. But I do like a bit more . . . balls.”



Palma Violets Announce North American Tour Dates

The band will heading off on a five-date jaunt following their lengthy tour in February.

palma-violets_300_250_80_s_c1Rough Trade signings Palma Violets are set to tour their ‘180’ debut later this year, with some newly scheduled North American dates being announced.

The four-piece play this year’s Reading and Leeds fests, plus European dates at Benicassim and Rock am Ring.

Check out the full touring schedule below, including new dates at New York’s Webster Hall and Washington’s DC9, among others.

02-05 Arendal, NO @ Hove Festival
06 London, UK @ Hyde Park
09 Nürburgring & Nürnberg, DE @ Rock am Ring & Rock im Park
11-14 Kinross, UK @ T in the Park
21 Benicàssim, ES @ Benicàssim Festival
23 Nyon, CH @ Paleo Festival
27 Byron Bay, AU @ Splendour in the Grass
29 Northcote, AU @ Northcode Social Club
30 Sydney, AU @ Oxfort Arts Factory

02 Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Music Festival
03 Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON @ The Grove Music Festival
04 Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
07 Oslo, NO @ Oya Festival
10-12 Tokyo, JP @ Summer Sonic
10-12 Osaka, JP @ Summer Sonic
23 Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
25 Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival

01 Stradbally, IE @ Electric Picnic
02 North Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival
14 San Diego, CA @ Cashbah
15 Phoenix, AZ @ Pub Rock
17 Austin, TX @ Red 7
18 Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf
19 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
21 Miami, FL @ Gramps
22 Orlando, FL @ The Social
23 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
24 Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree
27 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
30 Boston, MA @ The Sinclair

01 New York, NY @ Webster Hall
02 Washington, DC @ DC9
04 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
05 Madison, WI @ High Noon
06 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
08 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
12 Mexico City, MX @ Capital Corona
14 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
15 Vancouver, BC @ Venue
16 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
20 San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival

A New Band To Watch: Palma Violets, England

Young, talented and unruly:  Palma Violets

Young, talented and unruly: Palma Violets

Out now the debut album ‘180’. Available from: iTunes

Rough Trade’s newest darlings have their sights set high: they’re aiming for the moon.

If there’s a band out there right now that put on a more exciting show than Palma Violets, we don’t know about them.

Quickly becoming renowned for their raucous stage presence – as our most recent review of their Boston Arms show reveals, “as Chili Jesson returns from one of many crowd surfs, he’s almost thrown out of his own gig” – we can’t quite get enough of the Lambeth foursome, so you can only imagine our delight when we discovered, they’ve announced some more tour dates.

Now, the band were already set to head out on the road alongside Django Django, Miles Kane on the NME Awards Tour in February. They also performed at five more intimate shows in March in Exeter, Cambridge, Sheffield, Middlesbrough and Oxford, following the release their debut album ‘180’.

Interview: English band Palma Violets

It might only be late afternoon, but upstairs in Brixton Jamm, there’s already a party raging and the air is thick with smoke and blasting music. Palma Violets, we are tactfully informed, have “made themselves at home.” The band’s keyboardist Pete Mayhew has set to work in a neighbouring room, and is crawling across the floor wielding marker pens; busy fashioning a makeshift sign from a sheet. Bassist Chilli Jesson is also deeply engrossed in the complex task of styling his hair. He abandons his tub of gel cheerfully to greet us with a rather princely bow, before gesturing towards the sofa and slamming shut the door to block out the deafening row next door. He then perches on the arm of the sofa, and attempts to take possession of our phone. “What are these?” he says, peering scrutinisingly at our notes. After a quick skim read, and reassurances we’re just here to chat, Chilli retreats, evidently satisfied. “I think we probably are the worst interviewees ever,” laughs frontman Sam Fryer, by way of introduction.

Palma Violets shouldn’t be so hard on themselves. Despite being slightly chaotic, and having an apparent aversion to staying in the same place for more than three seconds, they are also highly amusing and full of enthusiasm. The UK tour, Chilli tells me, has been “fucking amazing” and he has especially enjoyed converting the sceptics. “People have been coming down saying ‘I’m going to hate them’ and all this hyped shit, and are leaving going, you know, this is actually alright, I can dance around to it. They like it.” “We’re still trying to process what’s actually going on,” adds Sam. “It’s lovely that people want to give us a go.”

Palma Violets seem made for the live show, with crowd-surfing, topless girls, and a particularly humourous moment at their Bestival show where a roadie had to sit on stage holding a cable jack in place. Drummer Will Doyle fondly recalls the set; “that was fun – bit of a Spinal Tap moment with the keyboards.” It’s these infamous on-stage moments that are tallying up the comparisons to a certain famous musical bromance. “The Libertines, for me personally,” Sam tells me, “that kick started everything, the whole sunflower of my musical experience.” “Rough Trade!” yells Chilli, when I ask why Palma Violets receive so many comparisons to a certain other four piece. “I don’t even think we sound like The Libertines,” he growls, pacing around. “At the end of the day,” interrupts Sam, “I think it’s a bad thing if you’re compared to one band, but if you’re compared to a whole range of the greatest bands in history -” He is cut off mid-flow as Chilli begins to reel off musicians. “We’ve been compared to every single band, from The Swell Maps to bloody Echo And The Bunnymen; we’ve been compared to about 50 now.” Will pauses from his task of encouraging Pete to cover the band’s sign in crudely drawn phalluses; “Nobody can put their finger on us, it’s good.”

“We’re still trying to process what’s actually going on”
Chilli has resumed his position on the arm of the sofa, and has also spotted my screen-printed jacket. “The Clash, fucking wicked!” he says, “I’ll buy it off you!” Palma Violets, it turns out, love The Clash, and listened to them constantly whilst growing up. Their high-energy sets, they agree, take a lot of cues from The Clash, far more so than some of the reverb-drenched shoegaze bands they often get compared to. “At the end of the day, we’re more punk I guess,” Sam nods. “We never sit down at the beginning and say ‘we will crowd surf’ though,” he adds, before Chilli interjects. “No, it’s literally just a spur of the moment thing. You just jump around, and the crowd will do everything else, they just need that push.”

The emotion that Palma Violets seem to capture most of all is immediate, full-on, boundless energy. “When we write the songs, we write as if we’re going to perform them, our friends are going to jump around to them” Sam says. “We love the stage. And the chicks too, the chicks are great!” adds Chilli. “But no, for us [the band] was always a live thing. We just wanted everyone to come and see us live and judge us then, rather than listening to 30 seconds of our song on the internet. We don’t like the internet.”

“Music definitely needs shaking up, it’s not in a very good state,” says Pete. Chilli concurs by way of leading a chant. “Change! Change!” The interview threatens to descend into chaos for a second, before Chilli directs it back on track. “No, it’s looking up, like Childhood [tonight’s supporting act] are fucking incredible. There’s a whole wave of new bands now – a year ago there were only about 10 bands getting people excited.” Palma Violets, the band tell me, is largely fuelled by the feeling that music just isn’t the same any more. “I met Sam at Reading festival,” Chilli begins, “and I saw him playing all these great songs and I was like ‘this guy’s a genius’. Turns out he’s not really a genius. But he writes fucking good songs. We all just got together and went for it. Bang. Me and Sam were seeing all these bands and they were just shit. No feeling! That was the main thing. No-one seemed to every give it everything. We formed out of frustration.” Sam interjects “Let’s write some songs with feeling and emotion”. Chilli stifles a laugh. “All the emotions.”

Pete steps back from his sign, proud of the microscopic, almost illegible letters he has used to write the support band, Childhood’s name beneath the heading Palma Violets. I tell Palma Violets I think their sign is cheeky. Unsurprisingly Chilli is delighted. “Cheeky?! We are cheeky!” he grins. “When we ‘co-headlined’ with Savages,” Sam says, trying to maintain order, “it would be like [shouts] “SAVAGES!” and [mumbles] “Palma Violets!” Chaos ensues. “It would be like that!” Chilli shouts, pointing accusingly at the makeshift sign. “That tour was big for us because we’d never really played on a stage before, we’d never had to be professional before.” Fittingly it is at this precise moment that the neighbouring party attempts to infiltrate our side room. “Do you mind!?” Chilli roars, “we’re working here!” As he slams the door decisively, I commend him on his newfound professionalism. “This tour’s just been like a fucking party,” he grins. “They’re our friends, they’ve been our friends for years, and now literally it doesn’t seem to fit. It’s amazing, on tour we’re like ‘yeah!’. We’re like fucking dogs!” Will arches an eyebrow and sighs. “Dogs?” he asks, incredulously. Chilli rephrases. “Excited puppies, we’re like excited puppies.”

Palma Violets, Sam tells me, are halfway through recording the debut, and Steve Mackey is producing it. “He’s a secret genius. He’s excited, we’re excited, and we’ll make a fucking good record,” Chilli gushes. “He let us bring our friends down [to the recording studio] and dance around – as it should be!” Recording, the band tell me, is going well apart from some minor gripes. “I read an interview the other day with some band, and they said, ‘we’re recording our album in St Johns Wood’ [where Palma Violets are also recording] – ‘the food was lovely’. We didn’t get any food, we had to fucking order Dominos,” rants Sam. “Bastards!” Chilli shakes his head and adopts a thick cockney accent. “Ain’t like it used to be. When people talk about the glamorous side of music, they mean that period of getting signed, [that] was the madness side!” “Try and stay unsigned for as long as possible, you get so much free shit.” concludes Will, in a solid piece of career advice.

“Nobody can put their finger on us. It’s good.”
Palma Violets are the somewhat unruly class clowns, so naturally we want to know what they have planned next. Sam reveals a complex, and somewhat surprising plan – the services of Jarvis Cocker. “He’s just got this great talking voice on the radio!” he enthuses. “On Sunday Service, I just really want him to play our song, and just hear him introduce it.” Sam adopts an uncanny impression. “‘This is the Palma Violets with ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’’. I think it would be magical. I’m not forcing him to do it, but Jarvis, if you read this interview, please do it.”

Other than their ‘main aim’ of recruiting Jarvis Cocker, there are other lofty ambitions to be fulfilled. “I’d like to beat Muse to the moon. Space race,” says Sam with a completely straight face. “I think we can, we have more ambition. We already have a song about it; it’s called ‘Neil Armstrong’.” Will points out that the band’s next music video could be on the moon. “You’d need an unlimited budget,” ponders Sam. “Actually, if Rough Trade gave us unlimited budget, I’d shoot our video on the Titanic. Like, underwater.” On that note, our neighbours burst through the doors to survey the finished sign, and my time chatting with Palma Violets draws to a close. “I think we’ve been very honest today,” laughs Chilli, “we’ve told you it how it is.” Chaotic, hilarious, and charismatic, Palma Violets also clearly have ambition and drive – to make entertaining, energy-filled guitar music. However credible their planned mission to the moon might turn out to be, there’s little doubt about it; Palma Violets are about to take off all the same.

Palma Violets debut album ‘180”s tracklist:

1. Best of Friends
2. Step Up for the Cool Cats
3. All the Garden Birds
4. Rattlesnake Highway
5. Chicken Dippers
6. Last of the Summer Wine
7. Tom the Drum
8. Johnny Bagga’ Donuts
9. I Found Love
10. Three Stars
11. 14