Venue: The Duchess, York
Date: 13th April
Peace’s popularity has ballooned since their last show in York, five months ago, with increasing praise rained on their recent release In Love and their fellow Birmingham troupe of bands. Whilst ‘polished’ would not be a misplaced adjective for Peace’s debut LP, their live show displayed a lot more grit and consequently far more charm. The low-fi rawness of earlier recordings was in full force as the B-Town four piece unwound their set a front an ecstatic crowd.
Anticipation was clearly high and the excitement palpable as the group arrived to an odd walk-on track – hopefully ironic, not grandiosity – to then rattle into the start of their set with the tinny percusion of ‘Delicious’ to which the Duchess came alive. Buoyed by the teenage optimism central to Peace’s music the crowd’s infectious movement and throbbing flail-pit did not abate for the entirety of the show. ‘Love Sick’ – essentially a cheesy boyband number – and ‘Float Forever’ provoked thrilled sing-alongs whilst tracks ‘Toxic’ and ‘Wraith’ gained a vitality lacking on record, spawning circle pits galore. It was impossible not to dance – or leap with wild abandon, seemingly – to previous singles ‘Bloodshake’ and ‘Higher’ than the Sun whose riffs shine with an undeniable joy.
Balance came to the set in the chilled forms of ‘California Daze’ and high point of the show, ‘1998 (Delicious)’. Following a – baffling – extended drum solo, Peace returned to the stage for their encore. As much as I had hoped for a rendition of their cover of a nineties trance classic, the ten-minute ‘1998’ was unexpected and all the more special for it. The steady ruminative rise of this song swelled in the space, with the frantic crescendos bringing the evening to a staggering close.
A cursory mention of support, ‘Superfood’, to remark more on confusion than anything else; how a band whose almost complete absence from the internet, suggesting a maverick attitude and a speciality of performance that can only be witnessed live, instead resembled a runner-up BOTB entrant was disappointing.
Don’t let the flowing locks and typical edgy styling turn you off; Peace’s live show is unpretentious and, though I felt aged next to all the lithe fresh-faced (SO happy and not even drunk), refreshingly joyous.