Violet Violet @ NAC, 26 April 2013

This excellent review of the Violet Violet gig has been submitted by FallGuy. My thanks to him for this, and thanks to Nigel Nudds Photography for allowing me to use his ace photos.

Violet Violet Reunion gig – Arts Centre, 26 April, 2013-04-30

In a hectic gig schedule increasingly dominated by the more reflective, melodic
and contemplative end of the music spectrum, time must always be made for
a more visceral, noise based, adrenaline boosting sound. Tonight fitted the bill

First off, from London, were Arrows of Love. Three guys, two girls who looked
great and sounded even better. I had missed the start but was soon drawn
into their high tempo, bass heavy performance. They roared through a short
but perfectly formed set and seemed pleased to have an audience receptive to
their efforts. Their surprisingly sophisticated indie thrash sound is, by their own
admission a little out of favour at the moment. If that should change then this
exciting band are well placed to benefit.

Arrows of Love (photo by Nigel Nudds)

Arrows of Love (photo by Nigel Nudds)

Next up was the reunion of Norwich rap/rock crossover Cthru27. Not being a
great fan of the genre they had largely passed unnoticed by me first time round
but tonight I could easily see why they were so well regarded and had such a loyal
following. A very tight unit, with a full, heavy sound and a confident, strutting lead
singer in the best rap tradition the punky ‘edge’ to their music, sheer vigour of
their delivery allied to the fact that they by and large avoided the casual misogyny
associated with the genre won my admiration.

CThru27 (photo by Nigel Nudds)

CThru27 (photo by Nigel Nudds)

The main attraction of the evening was of course the one-off reunion of Fliss and
Cheri, the wonderful Violet Violet. I attended their farewell gig at the Puppet
Theatre three years ago and can remember being disappointed at their demise as
I felt they were really beginning to fully realise their huge potential.

Much of their recorded output is very good but their greatest strength has always
been the raucous, elemental, controlled chaos of their live set. Tonight in front of
an adoring crowd represented a triumphant return to their home city.

Beginning with one of my personal favourites, ‘Songbirds Lust’, with its insistent,
super heavy, pulsing White Stripesesque guitar riff they fair stormed through a
set that included most of a back catalogue we feared had been forever lost to
the live arena. ‘V.U.L.T.U.R.E.S.’, ‘Song for the Young and Fresh Boned’, ‘Twin on
Twin’, ‘The City is Full of Beasts’, they were all there. The pace and quality dipped
only slightly in the middle of their 1 ¼ hour set and what struck me most was
that they sounded even better than I remembered them and boy did they look as
though they were having a whale of a time.

Violet Violet (photo by Nigel Nudds)

Violet Violet (photo by Nigel Nudds)

Fliss, now of the Nightingales, is one of my favourite drummers, almost
dementedly pounding out a relentless, metronomic, rhythmic barrage. Cherie
on the other hand coaxes from her guitar a heavy, abrasive, rumbling cacophony
while both contribute excellent, aggressive but not too shouty vocals. This band
are a wonderfully intoxicating force of nature. The backdrop said ‘Love This Band’
and we were more than happy to oblige.

Violet Violet "Love This Band"  (photo by Nigel Nudds)

Violet Violet “Love This Band” (photo by Nigel Nudds)

Before the encore Robert, lead singer of the legendary Nightingales, took to the
stage to comment that this was one of the best bands of the last two decades
and that, if you were to come back to the Arts Centre for the next five years you’d
be unlikely to hear a better band. Hyperbole? Well maybe, but by the end of this
extraordinary evening I was increasingly inclined to agree.

Words by FallGuy 2013

Photos by Nigel Nudds, with kind permission.


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