Published: 12/04/2014 08:04 - Updated: 21/04/2014 18:32

Violets and Violets to meet in Inverness?

The Palma Violets
The Palma Violets

WHEN London rockers Palma Violets make their first Inverness appearance this weekend, they might have a chance to meet up with their local Doppelgängers.

Before the London quartet of Sam Fryer (vocals/guitar), Chilli Jesson (bass), Peter Mayhew (keyboards) and Will Doyle (drums) became the darlings of the music press with debut album 180 — "the new soundtrack to your life", according to NME and "one of the best debut albums of the decade in the view of Q — the Highlands’ own similarly named quartet Parmaviolets caused a little confusion.

"That’s something we’ll look forward to in Inverness. It’s probably the only time we will meet face to face," keyboard player Mayhew said.

"One of the first pieces of major press we had in The Guardian or something — one of these big papers — it was one of those features where journalists pick bands of the day and they had the Parma Violets there — ‘London quartet, blah, blah, blah...’ — and then they had this picture of five bearded Scotsmen. They looked nothing like us."

Mayhew gave a quick check with his bandmates, but it seems the music of the Parmaviolets remains unknown to the Palma Violets, though possibly that is something that might be rectified when the band, who are currently working on their second album, come to Inverness.

Still, it does seem odd that two bands would find their name to looking to an untrendy brand of sweet, the original Parma Violets, that in Mayhew’s words are "something your grandmother gives you."

"Sam always tells the story that you get pick’n’mixes at Hallowe’en and generally, at the end of the night, Parma Violets are left to the end and no one will eat them so people can have them to themselves, so in a way liking the worst can somehow work out for the best," Mayhew explained.

The band, who came together after answering an ad on Gumtree, are notable on the current musical scene for their complete avoidance of any online presence — no Facebook, no Twitter, no online demos or YouTube videos — until they were ready. Instead they made their presence felt on the London music scene the old school way, by going out and playing live.

It was left to others to boost the Palma Violets’ online presence as a small army of bloggers hailed the band as the new saviours of British guitar music.

However, Mayhew is not as ambiguous about the pros and cons of the world wide web as that might suggest.

"You just have to accept that it’s going to be there. There’s no point going against it," he said.

"You just have to get the best out of it."

• The Palma Violets are at The Ironworks, Inverness, on Sunday; The Woodland Centre, Stornoway, on Monday; and The Tunnels, Aberdeen on Tuesday.

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