Purple, Broncho @ The Exchange, Bristol, 20/11/2014

BronchoHanna Brewer is a firecracker. The sound engineer knows it, her band knows it, and now, the audience knows it too. The drummer of Texan trio Purple occupies a traditional space at the back of the stage. For all her grunting bravado, she may as well be right up in our faces. Sporting baseball caps, greasy hair and baggy t-shirts, her band mates Taylor Busby and Joe Cannariato solemnly go about their business as their pig tailed percussionist spits, hawks and causes a scene behind them. It’s marvellous. Never mind their music – which is admirable in itself – Purple put on the best rock show we’ve seen in a long time, and it’s largely down to the persistent energy spewing out of Brewer.

Heading over to the UK arm in arm with BBC Six Music darlings Broncho; tonight Purple co-headline at the Exchange in Bristol. The two US bands pull in a decent crowd combined, no doubt aided by the aforementioned airplay of the “Class Historian” five-piece - we were sort of expecting the usual splattering of pierced faces, and not a group of students who clearly don't know where they are. Broncho’s set is accordingly littered with calls for “do-do-dodododododododo” from the audience, who are clearly pumped to hear the band’s most recent hit and in some cases, little else. For their part Purple are awarded a smaller gathering while the majority of the audience crowds around the bar – which is a shame, because they’re just as, if not more entertaining.

That’s not to say Broncho fall short of phenomenal. Front man Ryan Lindsey’s wry character extends to him refusing to take off his knitwear, admitting feeling like he’s hit a homerun with the rowdy Bristol crowd, and dismally failing to understand the local accent. As is often the case when a relatively new band performs for over an hour, Broncho play practically every song on their recently released debut. Early tracks “What” and “NC-17” impress us the most, and although they go unrecognised by the majority, it doesn’t take long for shoulder jerking to swamp the entire room. “Class Historian” is sensibly saved for last, resulting in a swarm of action from an already active crowd.

Shows with this level of infectious catharsis are definitely something to treasure, and for that reason alone Broncho and Purple win us over without complaint. Tonight has been a truly chaotic, head spinning roller coaster ride of fun, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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