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  • Dan Hayes

LIVE: NP, ND! Showing off... The Purple Hat Mob

All good stories involve adversity. Trials and tribulations faced and overcome reap rewards in brilliant technicolour and this past Sunday saw all that. Our first ever live event is in the books and you couldn’t find a better way to kick things off!

After some last minute technical difficulties that saw our headliners pull out, you’d be within your rights to raise an eyebrow of concern for the night ahead. Yet as the final applause rang out at Jimmy’s, all concerns were thrown to the curd as the curtain closed on a wonderful night of live music from some brilliant talent.

Brighton’s very own Theo Defeatist had made the long commute to Liverpool and kicked the night into high gear right off the bat. The boys started proceedings with 2021 EP Hello, Cruel World opener, With the Hits and set the tone for the night ahead. With pounding drums and raw guitar hooks, this noise-making trio’s sound far outweighed their numbers. Impossible to stand still is an understatement as the band launched into their debut single Sorry Not Sorry. A track that will stay with you for weeks after one listen. With an essence of The Strokes sprinkled with powerful gritty post-punk drums, this track is everything you could ask for. Few things bring me more joy than hearing a song on record then hearing the heavier, in your face version live as the artists give you a unique experience. Mean as me was just that. With no acoustic guitar in sight, with its glorious groove, this version showed no signs of slowing down.

Speaking with the band after their performance, you’d be hard pushed to find a nicer group. With their sound, presence, and ability you’d assume they’d been at this forever. However, this was just the latest of a handful of performances the band have ever played. Theo Defeatist are a truly special and incredibly tight unit, and who doesn’t love a singing drummer?

The news of last minute headlining didn’t seem to phase Preston-based, The Purple Hat Mob. As a newly reinvented trio, this astoundingly incomparable outfit brought their signature experience in full force to those in attendance. And an experience it is, The Purple Hat Mob provide something undeniably individual unlike anything I’ve seen live before. Songs blend with unique moments as a visceral swell of electric ambience ebbs and flows through a valley where spooky and groovy imbricate.

Opening with unreleased tracks, Bumbling on the Rails and An Awful, Wonderful Idea, this was a genuine treat for those at Jimmys, providing an exciting glimpse into what lies ahead for this unique group. The slow-building dreamscape that is 2019’s single, Carry Me to Calais followed as the journey through this performance shifts gear once again as one melds into another with latest single Time Will Tell, with its juxtaposition to the previous track in moments of recognisable conventional format crossed with their signature fluidity as the roaring guitar occupies the middle of the track and set alike.

Covers are a volatile business in live music. So easily can a misstep in recreation lead to downfall. Too close and too far are dangerous boundaries to play between for any artist, yet Sunday saw this group hit for six with their cover of Elbow’s An Audience With The Pope. A track that alone makes complete sense for The Purple Hat Mob to cover, yet the addition of the quintessential "Hat Mob" sound makes for an altogether brilliant experience. Followed by the ever punchy 80s-esque driving bop from 2019 Catfish Stew EP, Danny’s Leaving With That Hot Girl Again, The Purple Hat Mob tied a bow on a sensational night of live music.

We had high expectations entering our inaugural NP,ND! Showing off… and with stellar performances from both bands it did not disappoint!

You can find the full gallery of the night here. All images by Gary Lambert (@glamgigpics)


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