Shortly before the release of their latest album Beside The Ones We Love, Palm Reader announced that on the fourth of May, they would be embarking on a very special kind of tour. The kind of tour that takes place in a single day. Yes, Palm Reader planned five shows throughout London and it’s surrounding areas, with a final gig taking place in Guildford. Naturally, I was so excited I bought tickets to both the shows at Camden’s Black Heart and Guildford’s Star Inn. However, circumstances arose that meant I was able to also get across to Brixton for their show at The Windmill, finding out an hour before the band were scheduled to go on. It’s worth mentioning that due to time constraints, I was unable to see the majority of support bands throughout the day, managing only to catch the two supports at Guildford.
Show #2 – The Black Heart, Camden
Their first headline show of the day, Palm Reader hit the stage with ferocity, showing no signs of stopping just yet. Beginning with a blinding Resolution, the band blazed through their half an hour set, focusing mainly on newer material, with a stunning Noble Host thrown in for good measure. As the first show I caught of the day, the band were incredible. Set highlights included Black Hand, Stacks and the aforementioned Resoluation. If ever there’s been a band that can somehow improve on the sound captured on record, it’s these guys. Vocalist Josh throws everything humanly possible into his strained vocal delivery, and it’s a joy to watch, even if you fear for his throat afterwards. Add to this bassist Josh’s (there are two..) violent thrashing on the floor of the venue, and you have a pretty ridiculous bunch of entertainment at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. 8.5/10
Show #3 – The Windmill, Brixton
After an incredibly rushed journey across to Brixton, we managed to find The Windmill just in time for Palm Reader to hit the stage. This time, the set was mixed up further, providing an even better list of material. Highlights this time were easily Sing Out, Survivor, Stacks and Spineless. As the second time I’d heard lead single Stacks that day, I definitely wasn’t gonna get tired of listening to it. Good job too, I heard it again later (and it was still probably the best song of every set…). What really struck me this time however, was just how stupidly brilliant Dan Olds’ drumming capabilities are. Each time I Watch The Fire Chase My Tongue hits it’s like a sledgehammer to the face. And still, three shows into their journey, Palm Reader still smash any and all expectations I held, somehow managing to surpass the quality of the last show. 9/10
Show #5 – The Star Inn, Guildford
Wow. I was not expecting this. Ladies and Gentlemen, Palm Reader just may be the finest live band around on the hardcore scene today. In Guildford, after four shows of pure anarchy, the band still deliver a blinding set that, once again, unbelievably destroys any strengths of the shows before it. Starting with the unbelievably brilliant one-two punch of Sing Out ,Survivor & Stacks, the band just don’t let up. Both Josh’s bounding about the room with grace and ferocity, the sound the band produce manages to somehow sound incredibly crisp and undeniably raw. However, the crazy thing is, Palm Reader are a band that I could genuinely see on the main stages of festivals, destroying crowds all day. One thing is clear from today, these boys deserve 100 times the attention they’re currently getting, and they just might be one of my favourite bands of all time. Every member is techincally outstanding, and nothing could stop them from conquering any crowd shoved in front of them. Palm Reader don’t just need your attention, they deserve it more than any band in the UK right now. Ferocious, raw, crisp and absolutely shattered, the last show of today was undeniably the finest. 9.5/10