Purson - The Borderline, London
Is there something just a little bit magical about Purson? Having championed them ever since seeing the band open for someone I can’t even remember one horrible December evening, it has been thrilling to watch them flower into the fine purveyors of the sort of rock ‘n’ roll I hear stories about from my dear old Dad. And judging by the split in tonight’s audience, a fair few who were there first time around are back - this time with their kids in tow.
With the likes of 6Music and even Kiss (who are taking them on their festival cruise this week) jumping on the bandwagon, playing in venues as intimate as The Borderline may soon be a thing of the past, but with this coming at the end of a twelve date tour in support of recent EP In The Meantime, it’s not like they aren’t putting in the hard yards themselves. They may even be doing the impossible – making prog cool again!
Right from opener ‘Dance Macabre’ the band deliver a powerful set that draws heavily from the psychedelic and doom spheres - a heady mix of groovy riffs and playful melodies. Brand spanking new song ‘Mr. Howard’ fits very nicely into the set towards the end, but the biggest surprise for me is how well encore ‘Tragic Catastrophe’ comes across live. Easily my least favourite track from The Circle And The Blue Door, this evening it comes alive with a vibrancy and electricity that the band as a whole have in abundance.
And of course there is that voice. It may seem unfair that there is so much focus on Rosalie Cunningham, and yet she is what makes Purson something a bit special. A picture-perfect doll in her bright 60s dress, she is all action as she wows us with her beautiful, dark tone and electrifying guitar work. This is an old-fashioned band doing things the old-fashioned way, yet somehow it feels new and exciting; I am not the only one walking away tonight with a huge grin etched across my face and a tune or two stuck in my head.