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Audio, Glasgow
1st April 2016

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


Londoners Purson have been creating a bit of a stir recently with their psychedelic carnival sound. They certainly looked the part as they trooped onto the stage with a wardrobe of bright colours and a selection of hairstyles straight out of the early seventies. Frontwoman Rosalie Cunningham even sported flares and platform shoes but I have to say she looked like a rock star in them.

That psychedelic seventies vibe certainly runs through everything they do and the music owes a huge debt to all those bands of yesteryear but they are surprisingly hard to pin down in style. They can do the heavy blues thing such as in their affectionate nod to Hendrix in 'Electric Landlady' but the song takes unexpected turns and adds in some poppy passages reminiscent of Barrett era Floyd.

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Cunningham has a clear, melodic voice often compared to Grace Slick but she has her own style and shows how she can really rock out on the lively freak outs 'Spiderwood Farm' and 'Leaning On A Bear'.

Things were very laid back and almost quiet on stage between songs, no doubt due in part to the band all suffering from the dreaded tour lurgy though I must say that if this is how Ms Cunningham sings on a bad night, I'd love to hear her on a good one!


Much of the set is drawn from their new album 'Desire's Magic Theatre' which is yet to be released but none of the audience seem to mind the unfamiliar songs and simply enjoy the quality. The title track is a cool, strutting delight and even contains a brief kazoo solo to really highlight that seventies motif. 'The Window Cleaner' has echoes of The Doors in its' dreamy pop sensibilities while 'The Sky Parade' adds some acoustic guitar and an epic progressive rock feel to their repertoire.

All of the musicians are very good on stage and this is absolutely a tight outfit with a band vibe but Cunningham is the magic cherry on top of all that style and groove and deft musical touches. The vocals are top notch and she's no slouch on her guitar either as she shows by swapping licks with the other guitarist in the band George Hudson in closing number 'Wanted Man'.


The tour bug the band were suffering from may have muted their performance a little but Purson certainly showed all of us present what they are all about. They have a style and a presence about them which is going to see them make a lot of people sit up and take notice in the coming months.

Catch them if you can while they are still playing the clubs, they might be moving up to bigger venues sooner rather than later if that new album sounds as good as these live versions suggested.

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