Palma Violets / Childhood @ Electric Circus, 8 October

Live Review by George Sully | 11 Oct 2012

There’s a certain look that some bands have, a look of easy confidence from the moment they stride onto the stage. Childhood have that look, and it’s all the more arresting given their youthful appearance. Afro-sporting frontman Ben Romans-Hopcraft has the effortless cool nailed, sincerely thanking those few who made it down early.

These south London rockers exhibit a casual professionalism beyond their years; evoking the pluckiness of Bombay Bicycle Club, with dreamy vocals akin to Zoo Kid; onlookers can’t resist nodding their heads or tapping their feet while we wait for our headliner.

Any time a roadie preps the stage with fastidious duct tape over cables, or a towel per band member, assumptions can already be drawn about the carnage that might come about. Palma Violets live up to that and more; chaos and mosh pits ensue, thanks in no small part to the encouragement of unhinged bassist Chilli Jesson.

Channeling their influences to an almost gratuitous degree, this London foursome draw heavily from a britpop heritage but fail to deliver much beyond raucous showmanship. Sure, it's a kinetic set, but it's hard to discern whether it's all a crutch for a group lacking in innovation. Their tour-mates return to dance with them on stage for an insane closing number, and while the music may not offer anything new, the lads make the night memorable as the line between crowd and band is blurred in a mess of limbs and instruments.