2011 was a busy year for the Cardiff-based art-rock band Palomino Party. Forming in the January they went on to achieve considerable notoriety after winning the prestigious Oxjam ‘Battle of the Jams’ competition in September which came with it the opportunity to record a live session with South Wales’ own Nation Radio; not bad for a band who only performed their first gig barely six months prior. Musically and aesthetically it isn’t hard to see why people find them so captivating. Their sound is certainly unique and whilst it carries with it many elements evident in the ever-prevalent new wave of neo-psychedelic indie-pop so prominent in contemporary popular music it also offers sizable nods to traditional folk music with frequent gestures to classic American country. Although given that part of their name is also a term used to describe a traditional Western horse coat colour, this is perhaps not particularly surprising. Fundamentally their influences are seemingly as diverse as their sound and although there are certainly recognisable inspirations both contemporary and classic including the likes of Bowie, Talking Heads and Arctic Monkeys, it would be unfair to pin Palomino Party down as being directly similar to any of them. Any attempt to do so would be a grave injustice to the creativeness of the quintet.
Where they really stand apart from their peers, though, is in their exhilarating and exuberant live shows and quirky theatrical image. Each of the five members of Palomino Party bring to the fold a background in differing areas of theatre and drama ranging from the quite evident musical theatre education of enigmatic frontman Linford Hydes through to qualifications in stage management, live events and digital media held by each of the bands other members. It’s fair to say that their collective and varying understandings of the live and theatrical world fuse together to ensure that their live shows carry a ‘party’ feel and have become as synonymous with the band as their musical style. Complete with flamboyant costumes and an infectious, feverous energy, catching a Palomino Party gig should be high on the agenda over the coming months for any live music fan.
Dramatic, unique and tipped by Wales Online as one of the few Welsh bands who will cause you to “sit up and listen in 2012” this promises to be a prosperous year for a band grabbing everyone’s attention at barely a year old. Keep an eye on those local gig guides and, whatever you do, don’t miss the party. JS