Violet @ O2 Academy, 30 October 2019

It’s always great to get out and see local bands but tonight was a big one — in fact Violet’s biggest show to date. They sold out O2 Academy 3 off the back of a run of local shows and the release of their new single ‘Pure Blue’.

Violet are a five-piece, all male local band from the Midlands. Their tracks are led by chest-thumping bass riffs and synths. The choruses tend to be heavier with distorted, grungy guitars. If I were to liken them to bands already in the industry, I’d say Smashing Pumpkins mixed with Garbage. Put simply, grunge with an electronic twist.

The band’s Facebook page describe them as “drenched in big sounds with an indie spark, blending sugary sweet pop melodies with heavier 90s grunge influences. Pedal immersed guitars combined with intricate drums and powerful basslines intertwine to create a unique ethereal, yet captivating sound.” And that’s exactly what you get.

Tonight’s headline show began with ‘Jaded’ and ‘Sometimes’, both of which showcase the talent of the band’s bass player and drummer. By fourth song ‘At Least’ there was a mosh pit going and fans jumping around all over the place.

Throughout the set the band members’ faces were covered by a blanket of hair. Combined with the moody lighting, this set a brooding atmosphere. It was teenage angst at its best.

The sound and mixing were a pleasant surprise. As regular gig goers will appreciate, it can be pretty hit and miss at smaller venues with local bands. However tonight it was expertly done and made a nice change from smaller bands who just want to play their instruments as loudly as they possibly can. Violet showed a maturity and appreciation that will set them apart. They also had great chemistry and played tight.

Prior to Violet we heard support Phil Madeley. Phil’s music consists of melodic verses with heavier choruses, and there are some magic middle eights. Amongst other influences I could hear The Beatles, Stone Temple Pilots and Radiohead.

Phil was dressed in a smart 70’s looking suit. He has a warm voice with good tone at both the high and low registers. He was backed by three other musicians including a fantastic bass player. Stand out songs were ‘21st Century Richer’ and latest single ‘Same Skies’.

Violet’s set ended with 2017 single ‘Feel’ and it’s clear why this is the first one they released. It’s got a strong, catchy riff and chorus, and intricate guitar melodies. A standout tune!

If you want to hear more of Violet their EP comes out on 22 November.


  1. Jaded
  2. Sometimes
  3. Pure Blue
  4. At Least
  5. Wilt
  6. Shiver
  7. Fade
  8. Heaven
  9. Feel

Review: Chrissie Duxson

Photos: Chris Bowley

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *