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The view from Far Out: Palma Violets, Glasgow


It’s a wet evening in Glasgow and Palma Violets are about to unleash all mayhem at Oran Mor, a gig venue tucked under a church.

The gig starts up with a rattle of drumsticks before lurching into the chaotic guitar riffs of ‘Chicken Dippers’. The crowd has already established itself as one big pulsing mass, with only a few head-bobbing-beer-sippers standing quietly at the back. Chilli, the band’s bassist, conducts his audience expertly with shouts of “come on you fuckers” and “brilliant, brrrilliant” as form of encouragement.

A few songs in, Palmas treat us to a couple of tracks from their second album, ‘Girl You Couldn’t Do Much Better On The Beach’ and ‘English Tongue’. Although relatively new, their reception is just as energetic and sends the crowd into equal frenzy.

The band’s famous single, ‘Best of Friends’ comes in about a third of the way through the set. Overjoyed, the crowd show their dutiful enthusiasm in the form of flailing limbs and aggressive bouncing.

A few nose bleeds later, we’re given a chance to cool down in the form of ‘The Jacket Song’, a track from their newest album. Acoustic guitar in hand, Chilli moves the crowd to a drunken sway, and once again the band proves that the nature of their success lies in the sense of solidarity their gigs create. Arms around their neighbours, this crowd isn’t as aggressive as they might seem.

‘Tom the Drum’ ends the set with its rumbling rhythm, the band stopping half way through the song to applaud themselves and their audience.

The boys waltz back onto the stage for encore to the romantic tones of ‘All the Garden Birds’, stumbling over various wires and guitars. By the end of the gig, mic stands are nowhere to be seen, band members are on the floor, and the walls are glistening with beads of sweat. The word organised might not apply to their chaos, but Palma Violets somehow make it work.


Jess Porter