Blackburn based four-piece Violet Youth headlined Jimmy’s on 23rd January, bringing with them a good dose of their “dark melancholic ambience” paired with psych rock. Having been featured on BBC Introducing last year and touring festivals around China last April, the band hold a growing reputation and are undoubtedly ones to watch this coming year. Filling the intimate venue of Jimmy’s basement, zebra print interior and red neon lights made the perfect match for a rock ‘n’ roll venue. The small corner stage was both efficient and intense making the audience feel up close and personal with the band as they took the stage.

The band’s headlined gig featured three support acts, however the ones that really stole the show were Manchester quartet indie pop band The Covasettes arriving with a bang. With feel good melodic hooks and bold electric guitar twangs this band manage to put a twist on your standard ‘indie pop’. With evident influences from Circa Waves the band simply had fun on stage which reflected on the crowd who watched.

It was fair to say the crowd were more than warmed up when Violet Youth appeared on stage, opening with their track ‘Reliable Sources’, featuring jangly guitar and erratic drums that immediately had the crowd head bopping. In true Violet Youth style the music builds up continuously throughout until reaching a psych rock frenzy which erupts, main vocalist Owen Carswell draws a contrast that cuts through the music with monotonal vocals.

Smoke seeps through the blue and red strobe lights that lay over the band as they started to play one of their most famous tracks ‘She Said’ transporting the crowd through to an even more dreamy state of mind. This track somehow lures you in with an upbeat and pop driven sound, lyrics such as “she said come over we’ll run away” leaves open an air of mystery, the crowd were feeling the music, responsive and swaying as they listened.

Under the now hazy lighting the band concluded their set on ‘Dystopia’ – however the meaning of this word did not reflect the atmosphere in the room, still riding that dream boat the track lead to a carnival of powerful percussion, airy waves of guitar and a moment of instrumental that let those who watched take time to enjoy solely the music. Bag Thing caught up with Violet Youth after the show, “I think everyone got a really good reception and the crowd enjoyed it” Owen said.

With Violet Youth selling out Jimmy’s it is evident the band are starting to work their way up, fans were mouthing the lyrics while others looked immersed in their music, it is clear the band have come into their own. It may be time to jump of the dream boat for now but do keep eyes on the band and expect exciting things from them this coming year.


Violet Youth performed at Jimmy’s on Tuesday 23rd January 2018. Words by Steph Kettle. Photos by Lauren Keir.

Fancy listening to some of the best artists performing across Manchester in the coming months? Listen below for our latest playlist previewing those in town for this month’s best shows!

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