Peace, featured on the BBC’s and NME’s sounds of 2013 lists, played to a packed out Joiners, and proved exactly why they are a band we should all be getting excited about. Eclectic and energetic, their music certainly lifted the spirits of those attending the gig on a cold December evening.
Support came from Gabriel Bruce. Upon hearing opener ‘Sleep Paralysis’, it seemed like Bruce was going to produce a set of gloom inducing, sub-standard National songs; a result of his outrageous baratone and sleep-walking pace. However, what actually followed was an outrageously entertaining set of bombast and excellence. Bruce, whose energetic stage presence was an absolute pleasure to behold, sang his songs with a perfected tongue-in-cheek enthusiasm that would lead one to expect nothing less than to see him and his weird brand of performance on a much bigger platform in the very near future. Also, his sermon on ‘love’ was a hilarious highlight of the evening.
After making us wait in a Saharan level sell-out Joiners for what seemed like hours (causing one particularly witty fan to yell ‘you’re taking the peace’), Peace finally emerged from the crowd and came on stage to a modest amount for applause, although impressive when you consider how early the band still are in their career, with just one EP out thus far. Opening with ‘Bloodshake’, the band’s performance was faultless, with the messy Wu-Lyf-esque sound of their recorded EP transferring well to the live arena. The band themselves were endearing, nervously self-deprecating and parodying themselves in a manner that suggested they were still learning to cope with the amount of plaudits and critical merit that were they have been plastered with in recent weeks.
The gig never fell flat at any point, with each song being received as if the band had been around for years. ‘California Daze’ was a gentle ballad, performed with care and expertise, ‘Wraith’ was a catchy sing-along anthem destined to become a festival standard and ‘Ocean’s Eye’ was sung with attitude and swagger reminiscent of The Stone Roses. The highlight of the night was undoubtedly ‘1998’, the ten-minute behemoth of a song that possesses all the grandeur and variation a song of that length should possess. If the band have the ability to produce songs like this, then their place of the Sound of 2013 list and their title of ‘the future of indie’ is more than warranted.
The only issue was that, given the bands position as a relatively new outfit with barely any released material, their set did seem a little short, especially given the wait before. While short, it was definitely to the point, the stage invasion at the end finishing the set on a high.
Peace are definitely THE band to watch for next year. Their EP Delicious was delivered with conviction and precision and has given us a taste of what to expected. If this show was anything to go by, don’t expect them to be playing small venues for long.