Peace | Live Review & Photos

Peace + Drenge @ Anson Rooms, Bristol. 12.12.13.

Harrison looks like something from A Clockwork Orange as he sways about, shooting glances from eyes edgily marked with liner.

Peace‘s following are remarkably young, and tonight a good majority have pre-drunk themselves into a gooey state of embarrassment. This is a night packed with ambiguity; the Birmingham band haven’t released any new material since their last visit (minus a cover of Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’) but hey, they’ve promised an explosive production, so surely not much can go wrong.

Drenge are warming up, and the two unexpected rock-stars are a nightmare for the stage-crew as they deliver material from their gritty debut album. Extra security are called in as ‘Bloodsports’ instantly has bodies crashing against each other. Trouble makers are plucked out of the crowd in attempt to distill the chaos but it doesn’t work. ‘I Want To Break You In Half’ is steamy and manic, and the lyric “I’ll make you piss your pants” is sung with deadly intent. Drummer Rory casually sups through a lager during the anthem ‘Let’s Pretend’, and even the old guitar over the head gimmick comes off stylish. A taster of what’s to come on their headline tour next February? You can bet on it.

The stage is littered with searchlights donning peace signs; it looks as though Ikea has met Urban Outfitters. Peace arrive with immediate impact and open a setlist almost twinned with that of their last headline tour. ‘Waste Of Paint’ is jangly, bitchy and very much introductory. Harrison looks like something from Anthony Burgess’ Clockwork Orange as he sways about, shooting glances from eyes edgily marked with liner. There’s been little change in live sound, there’s still a rough imperfection around the guitars but this adds to the package rather than devalues it. People begin to hurl themselves over the barrier during second song ‘Follow Baby’, and they’re fools to make such an error early on, for Peace are just getting started.

‘Float Forever’ is a dazed ballad that cuts a hole amongst the full-frontal pop tunes. It provides the apt chance for sloppy vodka filled youth to clamber upon each others shoulders while their parents nervously watch from the back. It’s moments like this when Peace hit-home and all of their intentions become clear. There’s little chitter-chatter with the crowd, but during one slower moment a few people wave and Harrison remarks “yeah, let’s all have a wave, fuck it, why not?”. It’s a feel good Thursday and nearing the weekend people have an excuse to let themselves go. This becomes all too evident during singles ‘Lovesick’ and ‘Wraith’, as united hands recklessly bounce around.

A couple of choice breakdowns, ‘Drain’ and ‘Higher Than The Sun’, however see the crowd enthusiasm wander west. People begin to retire from the front half of the venue into the large space at the back for a breather. It was during these moments at The Fleece in April when the intensity was kept potent, but tonight in the larger venue things feel more disconnected at times. Keeping things short and sweet, ‘1998’ is an ever-building bout of energy. The track comes off with the anthemic twang of Foals and remains a clear fan favourite from the first EP. A two-track encore provides lullaby ‘California Daze’ and little miss indie anthem 2013 ‘Bloodshake’. This pairing quickly kills off any doubters, and leaves us on a sweaty enthusiastic note.

Personally, I’m left in two minds, tonight was not as enjoyable as the pre-summer excitement of The Fleece, but this is because the tracks of the debut album have since become older news. This bands future definitely rests on that tricky album number two.

Check out a bit of ‘Bloodshake’ just for fun:

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