Peace - Barfly, London - 27/09/2012
03 Oct 2012
"We’ve learnt by now that to see Peace is to expect the unexpected, opening your mind to the possibility that anything can happen and knowing that it probably will - disappointment is not Peace’s style..."
It’s a Thursday night at the Barfly and Peace have returned to London for a sold out headline show. Fresh off the back of their EP Delicious release which has seen their popularity soar over recent weeks, the four Brummie lads have a lot to celebrate as this isn’t their only sold out London show on their upcoming tour.
Though they’ve played London a few times before, one can’t help but feel like this gig marks something truly special for the boys it’s a split between those who have been following the band’s progress throughout the year and new fans whose passion has only been ignited as recently as a few weeks ago through the hype radio stations and magazines have been generating. In a way, this gig is a celebration of not only the success of their record deal and EP, but also the near future which looks nothing but ridiculously bright for the band.
The air is rife with animated chat, members of the audience tease one another through eager woops and soon it has become impossible to move. As Harrison, Douglas, Sam and Dom take the stage over-excited fans start eagerly yelling admissions of love at the band who are attempting to set up their instruments. Soon there’s a few plucks of the bass, the sound of a light cymbal and the set opens with a warning from Harrison; ‘If you don’t have Delicious, you might not get this’. One immediately knows what that statement means and I ask myself, are they really about to play their ten minute long Binary Finary cover as the opener to this highly anticipated set? Yet the first few bass notes and the crowd’s subsequent excitement answer; cries of ‘sick’ and ‘no way’ roll out amongst the audience and the journey of 1998 begins.
It seems as if Harrison’s warning was in vain for the whole crowd is soon chanting the lyrics ‘wash away, wash away’ as the music washes over them. The main guitar riff builds and the driving kick drum pounds away prompting the crowd to bop in unison, this unexpected treat – both live and on the EP – has already made this Barfly’s night and we’re not even half way through the set. It’s important to remember that this cover is far more than a novelty but a chance for Peace to really flex their technical ability, led by winding riffs and inventive guitar effects, this is something special. This epic is quickly followed by sub two minute brit-pop indebted EP opener ‘Oceans Eye’ which proves to be just as anthemic live as it is on the record and lyrics are recited word for word by all in the room.
It’s during third song, ‘L’il Echo’ that audience excitement mounts and escalates even further; a mosh pit is forming stage right, it’s still small but just as a hurricane can start with the flap of a butterfly wing, as soon as Peace booked this gig it had been coming, and believe us when we say by the end of the night this was no small mosh pit. The song is brilliantly haunting and equipped with an almighty bass-line that pretty much defines not only the whole song but the whole scene emerging around Peace right now, heads begin mirroring the tracks thrashing guitars as Harrison’s darkly melodic vocal dominate the room.
‘Wraith’, a live favourite currently only available to hear as part of a Huw Stephens session, is certainly a highlight of the night. Its infectiously bouncy chorus pervaded through the audience as hips began to shake and chants of ‘you could be my ice age sugar, lay me down and make me shiver’ were thrown back at the four-piece who still, of course, remained effortlessly nonchalant. It’s in these moments one feels they’re watching a band that had been together far longer and behave far older than their years – it’s not professionalism, it’s an expectance, if you write a massive song then of course it should be sung back at you.
The band move onto ‘California Daze’ the stand-out track from EP Delicious, and exemplify this further by solidifying the audience in harmonious unity thus creating another one of the many exceptional moments of the evening. It was in this particular moment that it seemed Peace had been catapulted into the future and if you closed your eyes and absorbed all that was happening around you then Peace may as well have been on stage at Wembley.
‘Follow Baby‘, Peace’s blazing debut single is just as anthemic as always , the guitar twangs that instigate it act as a forewarning for the next few thunderous minutes where the crowd and even some members of Peace begin to fully rock out. It’s near impossible to not charge directly into the middle of the, now really quite large, mosh pit but somehow a few manage to merely linger at its border, perhaps this is something to do with the expensive drinks of the Barfly – we’re saying nothing. ‘Bloodshake’ kicks in and Peace-mania happens all over again, an explosion of confetti from above cementing the grand finale – you make think this is flash but they did the exact same thing at their debut London show – an audience member hears Harrison’s ‘you vibe so hard’ line and decides it’s now or never and attempts the almighty crowd surf, nails it and is soon joined by an inspired guitarist in Douglas Castle who, guitar intact, rides the human wave ‘til the end of the set.
Peace have pretty much gone out with the same bang that started the whole set off and the audience is buzzing as it slowly filters out of the venue, trying to savour every last moment of a fantastic gig. We’ve learnt by now that to see Peace is to expect the unexpected, opening your mind to the possibility that anything can happen and knowing that it probably will - disappointment is not Peace’s style.
Read our interview with Peace HERE
Listen to an exclusive Peace RFB mixtape HERE