Violet Violet @ Norwich Arts Centre, 26 April
The atmosphere in the audience of Norwich Arts Centre before Violet Violet take to the stage is one of palpable excitement, mixed with nostalgia. When the fiery two-piece announced their indefinite hiatus three years ago, after the release of their final EP, Ebony and Ivory, the Norwich music scene had to say goodbye to one of it’s brightest stars; but if this night shows anything to the girls are, it was that these women may have been gone but they are not forgotten by their home-town.
Speak to anyone around here and they are likely to testify that the chemistry between Cheri [guitar/vocals] and Fliss [drums/vocals] is electric, intriguing and most of all, incredibly enjoyable. When the line-up was eventually only a two-piece , it led to a feeling in their music that they had found the sound they had been hunting since the band’s creation in the early 2000’s – the witty lyrical play-offs between the two vocalists mirrored by the duo’s explosive talents on guitars and drums created a musical excitement not seen for years on the DIY scene across the country. Drawing from a rich history of inspirations ranging from PJ Harvey to Bikini Kill, these girls clearly haven’t needed anyone else to help them make all the noise they needed.
From the menacing distortion that is the opening bars of ‘A Songbird’s Lust’, Violet Violet’s set encompasses their strongest tracks from the two albums and various EP’s, and it leads to the most enjoyable assault on the ears that this converted church venue has surely heard in a while. Every song they play is refreshingly unique – the difficulties of breaking up that are covered in ‘C-c-c-Cat’, the confrontational nature of ‘Twin on Twin’ through to the amusingly lyrically disjointed ’26p (Virginity)’ with time for a cover of the Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer’ done in the band’s signature trashy, in-your-face style.
By the time Violet Violet leave the stage after their encore of ‘The Crush’ on Friday night, there is a feeling in the room that everyone has relived their memories of the band and most of all, does not want to see them go. There are currently no further plans for the two-piece to play any more gigs, nor record any more songs; but if they ever do, they will be assured of the best possible reaction in this town that has taken them most to their hearts. As the back drop on the stage proclaims – love this band. Who doesn’t?
Got a favourite reunion gig? We’d love to hear about it.