Lambeth’s very own Palma Violets rocked Lee’s Palace in Toronto on May 3rd, which left the audience covered in beer, sweat, and ecstatic smiles on their faces. The South Londoners that make up Palma Violets are Sam Fryer (vocals, guitar), Chilli Jesson (vocals, bass), Peter Mayhew (keyboards), and Will Doyle (drums). They are currently on a North American tour after the release their debut album “180” in February of this year. Since the success from their debut single “Best Of Friends”, Palma Violets have been in the UK music spotlight for most of last year, they even won Best New Band at the NME Awards 2013. So here is what went down on that wild Friday night in Toronto.
There weren’t many people lined up when the doors opened, however as the night went on, Lee’s Palace became more and more full until the dance floor became quite crowded. The Californian band, Guards opened up the night for Palma Violets with an impressive performance of straightforward rock n roll that sounds like it’s from the 70s, mixed in with the California sound with a touch of psychedelia. They released their second album “In Guards We Trust” in early February of this year, a pretty nice follow-up to their debut album and their three singles. Check them out right here: https://soundcloud.com/guardsmusic
The audience was ecstatic after Guards played their hearts out, so after they went off it was time for the best friend and merch man of the Palma Violets, the extraordinary Harry Jones to announce Lambeth’s finest onto the stage. Immediately the audience was blown away with Will pounding the heck out of the drums and Chilli’s heavy bass line for the first song of the night, “Johnny Bagga Donuts”. It was amazing how committed and energetic Palma Violets were all throughout the show, there was never a dull moment. The stage presence of Chilli and Sam was unbelievable and the crowd loved it, especially when Chilli did a balancing act on a beam at the side of the dance floor knocking over beer bottles as he went. Then came the well known guitar hook of “Best Of Friends”, a huge burst of singing came from the audience, screaming the chorus at the top of their lungs. The show came to a brilliant and euphoric ending with Guards and Harry jumping on stage going crazy, whilst having a sing along to “Brand New Song”. The night ended with Palma Violets outside Lee’s Palace talking to fans, signing their stuff, and generally having a good time. You have to go to one of their shows, talk to them, and they are really nice guys so buy them a drink. Listen to Palma Violets right here: http://www.palmaviolets.co.uk
Written by Dan Ashworth
Photography by Sadie Ullah