There seems to be no shortage of guitar and drum duos around at the moment. Girls like Rews, Dolls and The Pearl Harts. Boys like Skinny Milk and Dirty White Fever. And then there are mixed-gender duos such as Black Doldrums. The one thing they have in common is they all play loud down-and-dirty rock, with the occasional leaning towards psych and stoner sounds.
The Purple Lights are different, influenced by metal, psych and reggae with a dash of synth pop, all mixed together to give a unique musical experience filled with good vibes, great riffs and messages of love and peace. They are a band that loves to get out and play, so there are plenty of opportunities to share in these positive vibes.
I’ve already seen them twice in one week. They played a showcase set at the iconic Roundhouse, where they are artists in residence. It was, appropriately, the same night The Selector played, but in the smaller Sachler Studio. Limited to three songs, they sadly didn’t get chance to get into their stride. The second time was just down the road at The Monarch on 11 October, where they played a longer, rockier set. Singer and guitarist Rob let his rock and metal roots come to the fore, while Akeeba’s drumming, with his expanded drum kit, remained strictly roots. Following on from some slightly earnest singer-songwriters in an indie-rock vein, although not of the maudlin variety, they were a breath of fresh air that got the crowd moving and even stopped passers-by, who peered through the large window to see what was happening. Even their final anti-gun song was upbeat despite the gravity of its message. Serious can still be fun.
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All photos by Chris Patmore