Concert Review: Public Access TV w/ Palma Violets
Friday night, two perfectly paired pop-punk rock bands accompanied one another at the small confines of The Basement. CD102.5 and Promowest presented Public Access TV with The Palma Violets, catering the audience to an evening brimming with excessive amounts of sweating and head-banging.
Public Access TV – 8PM
Playing Columbus for the first time, Public Access TV are the perfect accessory in completing the Palma Violets garage-rock archetype. While accompanying the London-based rockers on their 2015 American Tour, the group has captured the attention from various publications, including The Guardian, Stereogum and NME. Hailing from New York City, the four young boys are dirty, rambunctious and wickedly talented at manifesting catchy pop-punk tracks. Having released their first EP in May 2015, the four piece quickly escalated to great heights, readily touring with well-established musicians. During their Columbus set, the band performed previously recorded tracks from their self-titled EP, Public Access TV, as well as indulging in their older music, showcasing tracks “Middle Child,” “Monkey” and “Rebounder.”
“Middle Child,” nearly three minutes long, cooed with a twangy guitar solo twenty seconds into the track, enticing the attention of the audience effortlessly. The moderate tempo and sing-a-long melody communicated the lush sounds of a grungy romance. The lyrics, “Do you believe in rock ‘n roll / do you believe in you,” repeated for the latter half of the track, welcoming the audience to familiarize themselves immediately with the foreign four piece.
Public Access TV flirted with the concept of well-tailored alternative rock, and DIY garage-rock. With much preparation and precision, the band successfully gripped the audiences attention, receiving an exceptionally positive response at the end of their set.
Palma Violets – 9:15 PM
The Palma Violets are as British as British can get. The four piece stormed into Columbus with an electrifying energy, presenting the epitome of a grimy rock show. With pants buckled high, and wardrobes of dominating black, the London-based group is rumored to be the “successors” of The Libertines and The Strokes. After witnessing the Palma Violets’ amped-up set, I am now a firm believer of this prophecy. The group were as talented as they were entertaining, mumbling banter in-between tracks, thrusting their fists into the air repeatedly, all whilst bassist Alex “Chili” Jesson strutted up-and-down the stage as if it was New York Fashion Week.
Opening with new track “Peter and the Gun”, the audience did not hesitate to throw their bodies against one another, despite the unfamiliarity with the band’s new material. The slow chanting of the opening lyrics “Peter, Peter, Peter and the Gun,” encouraged an eruption of joint vocals, as if the crowd were rowing a ship and chanting an ancient pirate hymn. Quick transitions led to the Palma Violets beloved record, 180, indulging in tracks “Rattlesnake Highway,” “Best of Friends,” “We Found Love” and “Johnny Bagga’ Donuts.” The fairly intoxicated bunch regularly engaged in the audience’s hootinany, grabbing the faces and fists of individuals, and leaning nearly horizontal over the sea of moshing bodies. With much excitement oscillating between between the crowd and bandmates, the energy reached intimidating highs as the set list progressed.
During track, “English Tongue,” off of the band’s 2015 release, Danger in the Club, an unidentified guest appeared on The Basement stage. Sporting a black hoodie and long curly hair, the man appeared behind the microphone, materializing a harmonica from beneath his hoodie. After the hooded man finished his designated harmonica cues, he catapulted his body into the audience, disappearing amongst the void of heaving bodies. With the crowd cheering from every inch of the brick-walled basement, Palma Violets continued to thrive off of the raw Columbus energy.
After the Palma Violets dismissed themselves from the stage, the London-based group were welcomed back to their assumed positions with an outburst of cheering and applause. The encore consisted of a track from Danger in the Club, followed by the love ballad “14,” closing out the night. Every last bit of energy the musicians had were liberated, sweat and spit littering the crowd and microphone. With air as misty as morning dew, the audience was melancholic to see their new Columbus friends depart.
The Palma Violets manage to conquer a specific style of performance that is so often misplaced in comparison to other aspiring punk-rock musicians. Similar to Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, or Noel Gallagher of Oasis, the band so delicately balances their grunge and grime with a clean and precise instrumental performance. By conscientiously maintaining their tight performance, the four men have wiggle room to react to the crowd’s energy, and service this energy towards their performance — which concluded in being one hell of a rock show.
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