The entrance to the Borderline is actually a portal back to the swinging 60s this evening, or at least that’s what it feels like, as the sold out venue is crammed full of enough bell bottomed jeans and horrible haircuts to make you think you’re at Woodstock. However, instead of peace, the punters are here to see psych-rock sweethearts Purson for the final date of their UK tour.
Four-piece Ulysses open the show; the Bristol natives play a lively blend of vintage sounding rock, that fits well with their quirky choice of stage attire. Imagine Cream and Led Zeppelin got into a scuffle with the Beatles at Portobello Market – the sound that Ulysses produce would be the end result. Situated somewhere between the risqué rock of the 70s and the loveable teddy boy sound of the 60s, these guys are wonderfully inoffensive, good time rock ‘n’ roll that everyone seems to enjoy. It would be difficult to drum up a more perfect choice of support for Purson.
Purson are an absolute delight to watch as always, vocalist Rosalie seems genuinely happy to see the crowd with a warm and welcoming disposition. The five-piece play an eclectic mix of songs from their modest back catalogue, with popular songs from ‘The Circle and the Blue Door’, such as ‘The Contract’ and ‘Spiderwood Farm’ making an appearance. They also play ‘Death’s Kiss’ and ‘Wanted Man’ from newest EP ‘In The Meantime’ as well as a few songs that are previously unheard and will apparently feature on their next album. Their stage presence is vibrant and each individual band member puts on a solid performance, rather than relying on their vocalist to carry the load. As always, a Purson set just wouldn’t be a Purson set without a minor hiccup, and tonight they are forced to cut ‘Wake Up Sleepyhead’ from the set after facing technical difficulties with an acoustic guitar. However, the good natured fashion in which they handle setbacks adds to their charm and they quickly move onto the next song. Rosalie is never afraid to improvise with her vocals, which makes each and every song sound brand new, accompanied by some flawless key work from Samuel Shove; the entire set feels as though it should be played from the open back of a painted wooden gypsy caravan. Purson are honestly one of the most unique sounding bands around at the moment, this coupled with the fact that they remain so humble and thankful despite their rapid success makes them even more of a pleasure to witness.
(Review: Angela Davey)