Don’t let the suspenders and slacks fool you. If you were expecting four sharp English boys to come on stage and play smooth hymns around Samuel Fryer’s yawning and mollifying voice, you’re in the wrong place. At their Toronto show on Friday, Palma Violets proved that live, they are a drunken, stumbling and slightly mumbly sight. Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, (guitar), follows drummer, William Doyle, and Jeffrey Mayhew (keyboard) by playing from beneath a buffer of hair they aren’t shy about flipping during their performance. Their music translates from the unhurried indie rock heard on albums to sweaty, screaming high-energy punk when they play live. The juxtaposition of their sound live may be a little disappointing to those that are probably not expecting to walk into a punk-rock show, but if you follow the bands live work then you know exactly what you’re getting.
The spectacle on stage does draw a vast variety of people, from the expected to the lesser; there are certain people you’re sure to find at a Palma Violets concert.
The stage diver—you know the guy. By the time the first song is over his beer has been poured on half of the crowd and his shirt has gotten lost somewhere in the sweaty moshpit (that he started). There were more of these guys than expected at the show. The mosh pit was in full swing, but it wasn’t violent until that guy took his place on the stage and dove into the half willing crowd. Once the trend started it was a tough one to end and the less intense Palma fans found themselves heading for the back.
The guy who is a little too happy to be there—We see you jumping up and down, grabbing at the singer. Oh, he high-fived you? You’re probably best friends now. You should keep inappropriately grabbing at the lead singer and keep “accidentally” touching his penis. It’s great you’re having a good time, but don’t randomly grab the people around you and shake them until they look as ridiculous as you. Let them be, have a good time but be courteous of everyone else having a good time in their own way. PS: if you want the band to come back, maybe tone down the stalker eyes. And just know, you’re the reason for the next person.
The roadie who has been doing this for far too long—He’s over forty and the music scene. He’ll wait in the corner of the stage waiting to push anyone who gets too excited. He can still appreciate a good show when he sees it, but rarely gets the chance since he can’t focus when there are constantly people rushing the stage. The stage diver is the natural enemy, unless it’s the end of the show and all of the crazies rush the stage. That’s the roadie’s time to relax and watch as long as no one goes after the instruments.
The girl who is just there for the music—she’s dressed in expensive clothes that will surely be ruined after tonight. She got there an hour early to claim her place at the front. But after the shoving began, the stage diver kicked her and the beer marked her white shirt she retreated into the back.
The ones going at it—in the corner it’s dim and busy, but we still see you there. What we don’t see are where your hands have gone. But we know that you don’t care. You’re too young and in love to possibly be bothered with anyone’s disapproving eyes or the rock show going on in front of you.
In the end, they’re all there for the same reason. To enjoy the energy of four drunk men as they yell into a microphone. Though the songs sounded vastly different than their albums and videos almost to the point of incoherence. The experience made up for what the music lacked. There was a touch too much yelling, but the band enjoyed playing and it translated into the crowd.