Interview: Violet Violet
17:22 19 December 2008
All-girl rockers Violet Violet have returned triumphant from a US tour - only for guitarist and singer Cheri Percy to fall over in Norwich's cobbled streets and break her arm. ROB GARRATT spoke to her ahead of a homecoming gig.
All-girl rockers Violet Violet have returned triumphant from a US tour - only for guitarist and singer Cheri Percy to fall over in Norwich's cobbled streets and break her arm. Now out of the plaster and ready to rock, ROB GARRATT spoke to her ahead of their homecoming gig.
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t Tell us about the band
“We've been together about three years with the current line up. We've released an album and a double A-side last year and our most recent release is an EP. We've done three UK tours, a couple supporting bigger acts - Sons and Daughters and the Nightingales. We just got back from the states and hopefully the climax of the year will be the Christmas party on Saturday. We've not played Norwich for ages because I broke my arm, so it's going to be good to get out there again.”
t What kind of stuff do you play?
“We describe ourselves as gossip rock - the songs are about stories of people we don't like, nights out and that kind of thing. Loud shouty girly rock. We all distribute the vocals and use them as another instrument so there's quite a lot going on on stage. Most people would recommend seeing us live.”
t Did you plan to form an all girl band or did it just happen?
“We met up at sixth form with other girls. We didn't do it on purpose we just love hanging out - it's a case of what you can stand, and we're all best friends. We're very fond of girl bands and girl-fronted music, but we're big fans of other music too. When we play I'd like to think that people don't think we're a girl band - I'd like to think we play as well as anybody. But our vocals are quite distinctive.”
t Who are you influenced by?
“Sleater-Kinney. We're all very, very influenced by them. They were an all-girl band about in the 90s. They were fantastic live and we're like them. But we also really like the Hives, mainly for their sharp dress sense, and we really like the Futureheads, and Blood Red Shoes.”
t Are you from Norwich?
“We're all based in Norwich - we're all local girls - but we don't really have Norfolk accents so we don't get that many farmer jokes when we play elsewhere in the country. Coming from here encouraged us to play outside Norfolk, getting gigs in London and going abroad. Although we love playing the UK, it's great to get outside of the country, people treat you very differently in Europe.”
t Where did the band name come from?
“It's not a great story I'm afraid, so we made a substitute story. Really we just thought of lots of words and had a post-it note raffle, picking them out at random. But we tell people it's from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
t What are you plans for the future?
“We've got a new album coming out in the summer, and a single in April with a new video. We did a video for our last single but this one is going to be made with different people. We just want more tours, with bigger shows and bigger support slots, and hopefully we'll get somewhere from there.”
t Who else is playing with you tomorrow?
“The Uh-Ohs, a fantastic Norwich band who we're big fans of, well be at the front singing every word. 2Hot2Sweat, who are fantastic and getting a really good name for themselves, playing gigs around the country. It should be a good night of local music, We're making a few special additions to our stage, hopefully they'll be mulled wine and mince pies or something.”
t Sum up the band in five words.
“Facial, hair, knitwear - is that two or four? Three… Sambucca… Eddie Argos. He's the lead singer of Art Brut and we've got a song about him.”
t NROne Records Christmas Celebration is at Norwich Arts Centre, December 20, £6 on the door, 01603 660352, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk
t More information: www.nrone.co.uk
t Further listening: www.myspace.com/violetviolet1
ALSO ON THE BILL
2 Hot 2 Sweat fell to earth in April 2007, when Matt Leuw and Mia Lane put their ludicrous musical notions into practice. Recently seen on the BBC's highlights of the Electric Proms where they played the John Peel tribute in Liverpool.
Further listening: www.myspace.com/2hot2sweat
t The Brownies
Hyper-sexually-charged, oozing angst and buzzing energy, The Brownies and their infectious songs - surely, part of the next Skins soundtrack - say they promise you the best 168-hour party of your life.
Further listening: www.myspace.com/thebrownies
t UH OHs
All once part of 2005's music industry ram raiders The Pistolas, the UH OHs, say they are frustrated with the current fad for twee indie and are here to turn it up and turn you on.
Further listening: www.myspace.com/uhohs1