White Rose Movement / The Violets - Night & Day Manchester - 12.03.06

The Siouxsie And The Banshees sound must be one of the most prevalent of the new wave influences around today, add to that a dash of Debbie Harry and the Yeah Yeahs Yeahs and you have the bouncy female fronted, The Violets. ‘Mirror, Mirror’ stands out for its punchy bite that summarises their angular rock perspective. The feisty and exuberant singer, Alexis does her utmost to awake the Sunday evening slumber that the crowd appear to be in, by beckoning everyone forward, but people seem keen to admire from a far.

Perhaps they were astounded by the sheer dexterity of the solo guitarist who certainly made it appear that there were more than two guitars in action for brash and defiant, 70s rock sounding ‘Leave Me Alone’. The Violets are a band of potential, although you just get the feeling that the odd keyboard element would help to broaden the one guitar and percussion accompaniment that tends not to deviate too much in structure.

The electro twanging, glam skirting opener of ‘Pig Heil Jam’ encapsulates everything that we have come to expect from White Rose Movement. Longing frustration is dealt with by spiky jams, the thrusting vocals of Finn Vine and the prominent swooning keyboard of the sleekly clad female member, Taxxi. The buzzing Vine brings the set closer to the people with his buoyant stage antics that often manifests in him propping himself up on the edge of the stage, almost in the crowd. This is followed by a slightly mournful and whirling offering ‘London’s Mine’. Demonstrating the Norfolk outfit’s ability to build up emotion slowly and you can clearly tell that they are touching the crowd early on tonight.

The set is basically a preview of their forthcoming debut album ‘Kick’ that is becoming a donkey and the carrot tale, with the label putting the release date back several times already (now scheduled for release 17/04/06). Their twanging pop with a bohemian kick given off in previous single ‘Girls In The Back’, coasts along and the audience savours the provocative vocal back and forth between Vine and Taxxi. A Human League flirtation kicks in by way of ‘Test Card Girl’ and shows up the generation hopping nature of White Rose Movement. A forty minute set reaches a climax in the rattling ‘Alsation’ that culminates in a fervid and slightly improvised jam to signal the end of a punchy and thrusting set. Although, if one were to be hypercritical, you cannot help but feel that if they had utilised more longing numbers like ‘Deborah Carne’, then the roving jam would probably have had a greater impact at the end. However, this band will certainly have plenty of opportunities to smoothen out the edges in their live performance.

David Adair

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