The March Violets + Die Laughing
Academy Islington, London
Gig review - Dominion magazine
Tonight is really all about The March Violets and they are quickly in bloom as the guitar and violin tease us prior to the entrance of the singers. What an entrance too. Rosie Garland is dressed in nouveau chic style that was not a million miles from the Laibachian excess of Iron Sky and the ever eccentric looking Simon Denbigh, father Albion the crow man, resplendent and gentrified. 'We Are All Gods' quickly gets us in the mood for the set with apocalyptic laden beats exploding in a welter of excellent pulsating sound and neon strobes. This is another band with a huge amount of history and again we shoot back in time to the sounds of the emerging Leeds Goth scene growing out around the Sisters Of Mercy and branching into a score of great bands. 'Undertow' has now a much more forceful sound; body popping beats taking it into almost EBM territory. The band played well and it also has to be said that the drum machine helps no end in getting our bodies moving. Pitch black guitars and moody bass sees 'The Crow Baby' taking us into strange dark territories and on this Rosie shines, vocal cadences really hitting their mark.
Some of the new material has really made a great impression though and it is odd waiting to hear some of it as much as the old classics. ‘Dandelion King’ is one such number and does not disappoint. This has a real feel of the past about it and has a neo-folk flavoured sound but as the band sum up they are very much ahead of their time and the twin vocal harmonies surging through the purple back lights make this one a real highlight. Still there were certain songs that the group would probably have been lynched for if they had not played and patiently we wait and get them. The vampires least favourite song 'Walk Into The Sun' is one powerfully delivered and as the final encore the sinuous slither of Snake Dance hits, it's a grand finale setting people up nicely to pop over to the after-show at The Slimelight. Unlike many on the reformation trail though The March Violets have with their fantastic new songs, proved that they have perhaps transcended their past and with this new phase of their journey, it may even not be necessary for them to have to play them in the future.
Words: Pete Woods
Photo: Unholy Racket