Review: Peace at The Haunt, Brighton (26/03/2015)

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Opening for Peace were local, fellow-indie band, High Tyde, who actually followed me on Twitter a few years ago when they were still searching for a fan-base and getting their then, only covers, out into the airwaves. However, since then they’ve come a long way: landing a spot on BBC Introducing’s ones-to-watch list and putting out their own infectiously-summery tunes which they energetically delivered to the appreciative crowd eagerly awaiting the main act.

Taking to the stage with a flare that could be described as arrogant but I prefer to deem as ‘confident’, Peace, the four-piece from Worcester that have been making a name for themselves on the indie scene since 2009, clutched their instruments ready to play their soppy-pop-indie-mix style songs to another sold out show on their J’Adore Tour.

The boys were beginning their three-night stint at Brighton’s much-loved small venue, The Haunt, but despite the show having the potential to act as a warm up performance, Peace flung their dizzying energy into every minute of their set. Playing a mix of old and new songs, the band barely stopped to introduce each track, instead preferring to plunge into guitar-led solos which seamlessly led into the next song.

By starting with upbeat tracks from new album Happy People and leading them into best-loved classics such as ‘Lovesick’ from their 2013 debut In Love, Peace knew how to give the crowd what they screamed for. The tour itself was a gift to fans: each night the boys played venues across the country which would normally welcome up and coming artists; the type Peace were playing back in 2011. The venues they chose to include are infamous in the cities they visited as they offer real intimacy; you can almost reach out and touch the artists from most areas of the room – and The Haunt was no different.

Desperate to get as close as possible to front man, Harrison Koisser, I dove to the front, but within minutes of opening track ‘Gen Strange’ I was expelled to the middle by almost-violent dancing. Disappointed with my elbowing-back ability I woefully accepted my new position – but at a Peace gig it is impossible to stay sad for long – after all their 2015 follow up is called Happy People and their upbeat vibe, (despite the sometimes depressing lyrics), is infectious and your body cannot help but wiggle along.

New song, ‘Someday’, an Oasis-infused number and old favourite ‘California Daze’, bought the whole venue to momentary standstills due to their unusual slow pace for the band. Despite this, both tracks did manage to ignite an epic sing-a-long that even impressed Harrison, who is normally the one known for doing the impressing with his skin tight leopard print leggings, shaggy fur coats and the occasional dress/high-heels combo.

Standout tracks were ‘Bloodshake’, which offered an impressive almost-too-long instrumental, and latest singles, ‘Lost on Me’ and ‘I’m a Girl’ which promise to become festival anthems this summer. All in all, Peace served up a beautiful, amazing performance that was made extra special by the incredibly intimate nature of the venue and makes you wonder why more bands that have recently hit the big time do not continue to grace small gig locations.

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