Sunday, November 23, 2008

violet violet - live in New York, November 2008

It was somwhere in the middle of October (this year) that I was pointed in the direction of the band violet violet. A mutual music fan friend who shares similar taste suggested I check them out. So I did, and very much liked what I heard and saw. As it turns out, they were soon coming to the fair city of New York (where I reside) , thus I made a mental note of the dates and locations.

Making contact with the band via these social networking sites that now connect us all, I offered an opportunity for an interview and feature. A positive response was received, so it was all set then. On Wednesday, the 5th of November (still 2008) I trodded on down to my increasingly familiar stomping grounds of the lower east side of Manhattan (which I like to call rock club central) - this time The Cake Shop on Ludlow Street to see violet violet on their first US tour.

Entering the venue (which is an actual cake shop upstairs) I spotted one of the violets coming toward the door. Quickly introducing myself, it would be the band's lovely drummer Fliss that I would meet first. However, since it was guitarist Cheri who initially wrote back to me, I asked where she might be presently located. Fliss indicated she was downstairs with the third member of the group, bassist Kylie - watching the opening band, as well as socializing with their friends, and headline act The Nightingales. Fliss then hurried off outside in an attempt to get her cell phone to work.

Cheri, Kylie and Fliss

I quickly located Cheri downstairs, which wasn't hard to do, as she is a tall, striking blonde, with an outgoing and friendly personality to match. Making the quick introductions with she and Kylie, we headed upstairs to a somewhat less noisy location to record some pre-show chatter.
Listen to this clip as they talk about the music scene in their hometown of Norwich, among other things:

In the second part of my pre-show interview, we discuss the band's influences, and the style of music they strive to create, as well as the recorded works they already have produced.

As it was getting close to show time, the band then headed off to set up and I to find the best location to record some of the set.

In short order the moment arrived for violet violet's first ever show, not only in New York, but all of the USA.

Here, their opening song "Baby's Going Down"

Listen to the whoah-ah-oh

My next recorded clip is of the curiously titled "Dick Van Dyke". Though I doubt it's actually about that actor from the 1960's television show.

I do like the angular rhythms and syncopated vocal phrasings.

Next up is the riff-n-rhythm-heavy "Love This Band"

It's not a love song. Unless you love having a heart attack.

Cake Shop's bright lights

Fliss is a drumming dynamo

Cheri sings, plays and enjoys reading blogs about My Bloody Valentine

Kylie is a study in concentration and grace.

On to the set closer, and the low-note driven, somewhat menacing groove of "The Crush"

Bright Lights Big City

Full Set List

Which in true rock & roll fashion, was written on the back of this receipt.

Apparently, Fliss needed some new drum sticks.

Right after they played, I was able to engage them in a bit more conversation.
We discuss (among other things) cats and hot dogs.

The girls (or "goils" as they like to refer to themselves as) were supporting the wildly entertaining Nightingales for select shows on this US east coast tour.

Here the Black Country, UK ensemble play their particular brand of Jamison-fueled, stream-of-conscience storytelling.

If every picture tells a story, then certainly these video clips tell an more graphic tale:

"When I'm with you - I can't control myself" Indeed!

10 days later, after a successful series of shows in Boston and surrounding areas, violet violet returned to New York City for one final gig before heading back home.

This time at Arlene's Grocery, which is just round the corner from their first show at Cake Shop.

Prior to their performace, I did a catch-up interview with the band, and that can be viewed here:

and part 2 here:

It did rain slightly - but then cleared up

This t-shirt would result in some unexpected attention later on in the night.

Respectability, I tell you!

Photos and pre-show interview out of the way, it was soon showtime.

With a bit of borrowed equipment, the ladies delivered another blistering set of tunes:

Here, the song about how they lost their C-C-Cat's to boyfriends:

Here the band delivers a song so new that it is in fact untitled.

Any suggestions you might have as what might make a good title would be given serious consideration by the band. The drums totally rock in this one.

violet violet play a style of music that is very appealing to me. I like their quirky and edgy songs. There is a tremendous amout of vocal interplay between them, with one member frequently inserting a single word inbetween what another is singing. The chord progressions are unique and creative. What gives it all this tremendous rock feel is the never-lazy drumming. Not content to just tap out a 4-4 beat, Fliss uses her entire set throughout each song.

After their set, a young man came up to me and told me he liked my AC/DC shirt. He asked if I liked the band. Of course I said yes. He then said "my dad is in the band". I looked at him and said "who's your dad?" He said "Malcom Young".

Since AC/DC were playing show in New York this week, I guess I shouldn't have been all that surprised that members of their entourage and family were out and about. As he had just seen the show, he said he was quite impressed with violet violet as well.

It only added a very cool twist to what was already a great night out.

Before I said goodbye to the band, I demanded they write me love notes on photos:

Sweetly, they obliged

Come to the UK? My bags are half-packed.

Good times, good times!

Find out more about violet violet at these significant links:


Anonymous said...

groovyness ;)

x said...

Very cool post. Love your writing and enthusiasm here. Looks like now there's only two of 'em left (at least that's what MySpace says). Their sound is cool, very energetic.

Great job. And I *love* that AC/DC t-shirt you're wearing!