It’s the classic U.K. conundrum: an artist is old enough to drink (and sell records) back in Britain, but when they hit the States, they’ve got to stick to the ginger ale.
So it is for Palma Violets, a garage-rock band whose famously boozy live shows helped make the under-21 lads the toast of London. Those raucous performances earned them an NME cover and a record deal, which led to their stellar debut album 180 — all without them having recorded a demo.
So, how did the band — singer Sam Fryar, bassist Chilli Jesson, keyboardist Peter Mayhew, and drummer Will Doyle — deal with the prospect of spending SXSW sober? The same way American teens have been for years: “We’re using fake IDs,” Doyle told EW last night at Mellow Johnny’s, a Lance Armstrong-owned bike shop where the band played a KEXP live session. “Except for Pete, since he actually is 21. But yeah, we actually got them on our last trip [to America], because there was no way we were going to be in New York for two weeks without drinking.” [Ed note: We do not condone this behavior, kids! And Austin cops, please don't arrest them.]
Reasonable enough. But alcohol aside, their show last night — the quartet’s first ever in Texas — was a tamer live experience than they’re used to, given the early-evening time and yuppie-ish location. The sound was unusually good (you can listen to much of it yourself over at KEXP), though, and the boys did get to cut loose at certain points of their set.