Palma Violets | Photo by Julie MillerWhen a set starts off with the bass player jumping on the drum kit and accidentally unplugging his cord, the rest of the night could go either way.  Luckily, after stomping on the pedal board and kicking an amp, Palma Violets‘ Chilli Jesson quickly recovered from his initial frustration and took the opportunity to dive into the crowd gathered at Boot & Saddle on Tuesday night, moshing along with fans to “Rattlesnake Highway.”  It was already packed and sweaty, the night having started off on a loud note with New York’s SKATERS.  When Palma Violets made their way through the crowd to the stage shortly before 10:30 p.m., the 150-capacity Broad Street venue felt near capacity – clearly, word has spread about the boisterous Lambeth, London foursome that topped both BBC and NME lists this year.

Following “Rattlesnake Highway,” Palma Violets moved swiftly through tracks off of their 2013 debut 180, reaching a climax at the “Chicken Dippers” > “Best of Friends” > “We Found Love” trifecta.  A couple of unidentified new songs also wedged their way into the short but non-stop set, as did a cover of Canadian punk band Hot Nasties’ “Invasion of the Tribbles.”

Despite the obviously genuine chemistry between frontmen Jesson and Sam Fryer and the audience’s overwhelming admiration, the set felt more groomed and calculated than authentic.  It probably didn’t help that before the band took the stage a “hype man” of sorts walked through the crowd, giving instructions on being energetic and engaged (he also appeared on stage during “Invasion of the Tribbles” to contribute some gang vocals).

But slight corniness aside (towards the end Jesson started howling and yelling “show me the money!”), Palma Violets delivered a show that turned Boot & Saddle into a rowdy underground London club for the night and that’s exactly what the crowd wanted.

Rattlesnake Highway
All the Garden Birds
Chicken Dippers
Best of Friends
We Found Love
Step Up For the Cool Cats
Last of the Summer Wine
Johnny Bagga Donuts
Invasion of the Tribbles (Hot Nasties cover)