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Interview: Violet Violet

PUBLISHED: 10:19 10 August 2010 | UPDATED: 15:41 29 October 2010

Photo: Andi Sapey

Photo: Andi Sapey

Louis Kerry

Cheri and Fliss - the core of Violet Violet - have been an exciting fixture on the Norwich music scene for seven years. Now they're calling it a day with a special final hometown gig and last EP. LOUIS KERRY spoke to them.

Dynamic duo Cheri and Fliss - the core of Violet Violet - have been an exciting fixture on the Norwich music scene for seven years. Now they're calling it a day with a special final hometown gig and last EP. LOUIS KERRY spoke to them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And then there were none. After starting out as a four-piece, Norwich band Violet Violet have slowly shed members until they were reduced to the core of dynamic duo Cheri and Fliss. Now they are about to perform their last gig together before going on an indefinite hiatus.

After seven years of impressing fans, peers and music buffs alike with their high energy performances and charming stage presence, they've decided to call it a day - for now at least. The pop duo make their final stop of their last tour at Norwich Puppet Theatre next week.

Even with the blow of two members leaving the band, Cheri and Fliss had battled on with just vocals, a drum kit and guitar, maintaining the band's dynamic sound that made them one of Norfolk's most exciting bands.

Formed in September 2003 when Cheri and Fliss grouped up with some friends to start a new wave of girl power, but with extra punk attitude, they quickly made their name around the local scene before being signed to Norwich's own NROne Records.

Releasing album The City Is Full of Beasts, multiple singles and EPs For The Young and The Fresh Boned, they managed to attract some mainstream attention.

They were played on Radio1 and 6 Music, nominated for XFM's New Music Award and coverage from BBC Introducing, NME, Rocksound and Artrocker.

Unfortunately with their hiatus creeping up on us, the Norwich Puppet Theatre gig will likely be your last chance to see the fabulous duo in action for a very long while.

Performing songs throughout their six year back catalogue including some gems they haven't played in a long time, the duo are promising to put on an emotional extra long show for their final farewell.

In addition to what is sure to be a fantastic show, they have also released a final EP, Ebony and Ivory, showing off the relationship between the two friends as they part their ways.

t How's the tour going?

Very well, very exciting, we're currently in Chelmsford. We always have a great time when we come here because lots of our friends come and theirs a really nice atmosphere.

t Have you met any crazy fans yet?

Ha ha, not crazy but we've got quite a few loyal ones who have taken road trips to various places. They followed us to Manchester and Preston and Leeds too. Quite a lot of people have made a few of the shows on the tour which is really nice of them.

t Are you looking forward to this final Norwich gig?

Very excited we can't believe how it's coming round, it's gone really quickly.

t Why did you choose the Puppet Theatre?

We did our album launch in The Curve which is like secret venue and we had a really successful night it was something a bit different for everyone. We had to kinda raise our stakes so the Puppet Theatre seemed like the best choice. We've got The Kabeedies on the bill which is really exciting. And all our friends and people who have supported us on the way are coming. It's going to be a really good night.

t Are you going to be playing songs across your six year back catalogue?

Yes, we've been practising some old songs, questionable old songs. And it's going to be a bit long as well because the set we've been doing on the tour at the moment has been about eight songs but we wanted to play about 45 for everyone

t Is the Ebony and Ivory EP your way of saying goodbye?

Yeah it is kind of, when we wrote the song it's about each other. The lyrics mentioned in there are about our time together as a band. We wrote a song that would go on the end of the EP as an epic sort of ending with the choral sort of end with the vocals, it's quite haunting as well. We're really pleased with it, the EP sound and that track in particular that people seem to really respond to.

t Do you feel like you'll be leaving on a high?

Definitely! That's one of the main reasons of doing the tour, because we wanted to go out on a high. And it's really good that we get to do Norwich as our last date as well. Although it will be sad, it will be a great chance to see everyone we met on the way and have everyone celebrate Violet Violet.

t How has your record label NROne Records taken to you going to hiatus?

Kingsley [Harris, NROne head honcho]'s been really good actually, he's been really supportive of our decision and he's putting out the last EP which I think he's quite happy to be doing because he's put out all our previous things as well, it's quite a nice goodbye with him as well. He's been really great about it all.

t As a band have you accomplish everything you wanted to?

Yeah we've done a pretty good go at it. A lot more than we ever thought or anticipated, especially going out to the States and playing over there and when we've done the Germany tours the success we had out there has been great. Also every Norwich show that we do because we space them out have always been fun and we always have lots of people there which makes it a little bit easier.

t You've chosen to play Germany on this the tour too.

We have quite a big connection. We've done a couple of tours out there now, our last tour we did on our own. The previous two tours we did with The Nightingales. We have a lovely gentleman over there called Peter who's our booker and he helps us get the shows, for the Munich date we're doing and also we've contacted Klangbad to do this festival out there which we're really excited about. It's quite difficult to get festivals in the UK we found, but Germany are really appreciative and really accommodating.

t How did playing with bands such as Nightingales and The Slits help you as a band?

The Nightingales have been along the whole time of our band, they've been really helpful. We got to meet a lot of promoters, fans and friends through them which has been really helpful. The Slits thing was just incredible, six years ago when we started as a band Fliss and I never dreamed we would play with The Slits. But they're such nice ladies as well, Ari is fantastic and the play such a good show. We got to see them perform twice and had really good fun with them

t Can you see the band releasing any more music in the future?

We've had lots of questions about this on tour. It's not a question of enjoying it and the music not being what want it to, in fact it's probably the opposite. We've been the happiest we've been with the two piece and the new record. Just at the moment we've put so much time and effort into everything that we both are gonna concentrate on things for a while but I certainly don't see myself in a band with anyone else

t What advice would you give to other young girls starting bands?

Do it with people you get on with, like your friends and really make it a fun experience. That's how Fliss and I got where we got today, we had the same drive and same ambitions and when you have that it's a lot easier to get on and have the same dedication.

t What other bands in Norwich can you see becoming very successful?

I think The Kabeedies are doing a great job. I think These Ghosts are fantastic - they did that great set at Latitude, they get to go out represent Suffolk and Norfolk and they're a fantastic band so I think they'll do really well.

t If you could do it all again, would you?

Yes definitely, but probably just as a two piece.

t Violet Violet play Norwich Puppet Theatre on August 12.

t Ebony and Ivory is out now.

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