Wax (like everything in surfing) comes down to personal preference. I personally find palmers; absolutely usesless, non durable, not that sticky. I switched to sex wax and the difference was night and day. But it's different for everyone.
Base coats work really well. Having a base coat makes the top coat "bump up" much faster, much more prominently and lasts longer. Bumps give the best grip over combing. Also the harder wax makes a more durable wax coat. Often my boney butt rubs soft wax off from sitting on the board so a harder base coat ensures theres something there!
Although, in the UK you guys use booties a lot... I use booties in the winter here and have noticed that booties sink in and grip the wax (like how a shoe with a grip pattern would!) and so different wax doesn't make AS much of a difference, as opposed to bare feet surfing.
I would recommend a base coat with which ever wax you choose. See what works for you and post back