‘Palma Violets’ probably means one of two things to you: a) those horrible purple sweets from childhood, or b) one of 2013’s biggest indie bands. It’s been twelve months since the loud and rowdy London quartet released their debut single “Best of Friends”, and it’s been quite an amazing year.
International shows, awards, hype and gallons of sweat later, the boys have become a grimy gem in the current scene, and are heading to Oxford in just a few weeks’ time. “It’s all very surreal, because you dream about it, and then you live it,” says singer and bassist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson. “I don’t think any group would expect this level of progression.” The band signed with the iconic British music label Rough Trade back in 2012. “I always dreamed of getting signed to Rough Trade,” gushes Chilli. “It was one of the most amazing moments of my life.” For the young singer, a label is all about its attitude: “You get these major labels, and you’re not really part of anything. It’s all run by suits, and it’s a real business thing. But with Rough Trade it is all about the music. It’s a real family thing going on. It really is. And it’s so good for us, because we’re a young group, we really need that guidance from the greats. And they really are the greats.”
Before the group came to widespread attention, their animated sweatbox shows were what gave Palma Violets their name. But Chilli says an exciting performance is about more than just energy and skill. “When you know nothing’s going wrong, I find that boring.” says the singer. “I like bands where you think it might all go one way.” So what can we expect when they drop by Oxford as part of the upcoming Rattlesnake Rodeo Tour? “It will be everything you could ever dream of. It really will. It’s probably the last time you’ll see us in this way. It’s like the last party, the last dance.”
Hotly-tipped bands Childhood, Baby Strange and Telegram will be joining Palma Violets on tour. But for Chilli, they’re more than just supporting acts. “It’s a collection of our favourite bands coming on that tour, and I’m fucking excited. I mean, can you imagine going on a bus around England, with three bands of all your friends. I wanna look back and say, I went on tour with my mates, not some shit band that wouldn’t wanna hang out. For us it’s just a three week party. It’s just all about having fun, having a beer, having a laugh, because it is only music, you know?” Anyone else wish they were on that bus?
Following the success of debut album 180, details about a second record have been hard to come by. Chilli refuses to disclose much, but says the sophomore album will be “a whole new level for Palma Violets.” We’ve been told to “expect blood, sweat and tears,” from the new tracks, and they believe “it’s a great progression. There’s all the angst in there, but there’s something more. Something that was missing from us for a while. I’m fucking excited.” So are we, Chilli.
In an exlusive giveaway, Cherwell has five pairs of tickets to see Palma Violets at the O2 on November 28th!
All you have to do is tell us, in 100 words or fewer what is your favourite album of 2013 and why. We’ll pick the most entertaining entries on November 22nd. Winners will be announced via Cherwell Music’s facebook page.