The Fleece, Bristol, Monday, April 22
It’s not often that I become fully obsessive about a new band, but Peace have joined my list of exceptions. I worry for some emerging bands that are over-hyped by NME magazine; often they later fail to produce the goods. However, after the release of Peace’s debut – In Love, it is clear, that they will not be disappearing anytime soon.
On Monday 22nd, I yet again found myself at another of their gigs (my third in three months). I was once again filled with excitement and expressed this by babbling away and pissing people off with my great eagerness to get inside the venue. Whilst cueing outside, the sky was presenting us with some ‘fine’ British weather, but that couldn’t dampen the spirits of their beloved fans. As we waited outside in the cold drizzle, everyone was unexpectedly quiet, due to sound of the band’s warm ups. Riffs of Lovesick and melodies of Higher Than The Sun, trembled through each figure of the fan community.
I had been counting down for the past three months until this day, so when I found myself practically on stage, with my hands touching guitarist Doug Castle and lead singer Harrison Koisser’s guitars, I could hardly contain my emotions and was virtually in tears (this is not an exaggeration, as dramatic as it may seem).
The show started with the band’s support, fellow B’hamer’s – Superfood. Although the crowd failed to really make any attempt to respond, the band played a pleasantly explosive set. Their performance ran through pretty smoothly and finished off with their first single ‘Superfood.’ Having already heard and downloaded the debut track, I knew they promised a surprisingly grungy, punk-pop sound that pulled them away from the rest of the psychedelic movement of the big ‘B’town. After the last thirty seconds of the new song (that had been praised time and time again by none other than Radio 1 dj, Zane Lowe), Superfood’s guitarist leant over to our annoyingly energetic group and whispered “thanks for dancing.” The group trundled off stage with a couple of waves and awkward smiles, making way for the headliners techs.
With a rather unconventional beginning to the concert, this included Peace standing outside in full view of the crowd, helping to gee themselves up, the band positioned themselves on the tiny platform of a stage. Vocalist Harrison Koisser stood proudly at the centre wearing a rather funkadelic sailor shirt, giving a little hand-quiver to the audience. They began with Delicious, which isn’t to be confused with 1998, taken from EP Delicious. The track took off with its haunting intro and kicked into a product of full of carnage in the crowd. They left no room for 'a quick breather', as they headed straight into Follow baby, one of their slightly older songs. It's heavy guitar riffs and earth-rumbling bass lead to the crowd pushing and shoving so wildly, that the only way to keep myself upright was to balance my body on the stage itself. The newly announced single to-be, Lovesick lined up next. It's indie-pop vibes and lyrics, that see Koisser singing 'I wanna get lovesick with you' are so cutesy, but yet heartfelt that it evokes goosebumps and tears in my eyes. The band whisk the crowd away in a dream full of adventure and love, drifting through the album's chirpy but sultry echoes. Part one closes with Wraith (possibly one of the sexiest songs around) and the stadium sounding cover of Binary-Finary's1998. The audience continue to go wild as Peace wave and leave the stage for a very brief and pointless break. The foursome huddle behind the logo-printed backdrop, occasionally producing their hands out in front to wave and structure Peace signs with their fingers.
The "lads on lash" return to the stage, accompanied by more concoctions and beer bottles. Resetting themselves back in place, they take off once again with California Daze, a more delicate and slightly older song taken again from EP Delicious. It's tender harmonies and gentle, body-hugging guitar lines that aimlessly fade in and out, wobble through the crowd, as many audience members participate in gushy, youthful hugs and first-love stares, demonstrating hope and naivety. The song fades away, like many of these gropers romances will. "This is our last song, thanks for coming, this has been one of the best nights so far." Once again, the besotted devotees lose control, everyone in the sweaty horde knows exactly what's about to go down. Bloodshake. The song rises up with its haunting, psychedelic intro, until the band break out into full tropical rock. The song should be messy and all-over the place, but somehow it just comes together. Guitarist Doug Castle bobs around whilst carrying through the gritty guitar riffs, joined by the reverberating sounds of Sam Koisser's bass. As we arrive at the chorus, Harrison Koisser yells 'YOU VIBE SO HARD' but I think it's fair to reply, actually 'you vibe so hard.' Dom Boyce has now replaced the bongo sounding drums, by hitting harder and heavier than before. The crowd (including myself) are loving every second of it and going completely crazy, pushing and bouncing so continuously that I lose complete control of my legs. "WE'LL SPIT BLOOD IN THE SUN" the Peace enthusiasts shout over Koisser's vocals. Sam koisser and Dominic Boyce's voices join, providing beachy-melodies behind Harrison's harsh gruffle. The track trembles away, as the band float off in a mist of smoke and light.
Their shows share some similarities to those of Foals and Arctic Monkeys. Could sell out stadium tours be the future for the B'Town quartet? I think so. http://peaceforeverever.co.uk/