live review... Peace
Sitting in Nando's I watched the Cambridge indie kids who, despite the pissing rain, were huddled under the cover over the entrance to the Junction waiting for the doors to open so they can rush to the front in an attempt to make eye contact with the Koisser brothers who are set to play to the sold out venue in just a couple of hours.Though I had no doubt that by the time I had walked from Nando's to the venue I would be just as wet as they are and just as thankful to be indoors. There is a buzz in the air. Cinema goers are weaving through a queue of kids with coloured hair, skinny jeans and Dr Martens who are discussing their college life and Swim Deep who are playing the exact same venue in a couple of weeks time. Once inside it's not long before the first band, Yak, scuffle on stage. From the get-go of their set it's loud. There's distortion, fast drums and experimental synths/keys all coming from three guys. Needless to say, Yak are captivating on stage. Their live performance is not similar to Peace and when I didn't have my long hair over my face shaking from side to side I noticed that there were quite a few fans that Yak weren't able to win over. Fans who seemed slightly confused at Yak's distinctive sound. Yak leave the stage and I'm only thinking about one thing, was that the best support set I've seen? Quite possibly.
Next up are Splashh, a band a bit more suited for Peace fans. Splashh play a half hour set of catchy indie-pop with shoe-gaze influence that goes down a treat with the kids bouncing up and down. Frontman Sasha Frantz Carlson has a great stage presence and looks like that slightly grungy kid in stereotypical high school films that all the girls secretly have a crush on. He's smiling on stage, pointing to the crowd and having a fun time. His vibe reflects in the crowd who have become more comfortable with jumping about and having a laugh.
Lights go out and Peace's lead guitarist Douglas Castle appears on stage creating great feedback from his Fender whilst bandmates Dom Boyce and Harry and Sam Koisser take to position, opening with O You before creating a frenzy with old classics Wraith and Follow Baby. Within seconds my drink gets knocked straight out of my hand and from start to finish the crowd does not slow down. After five non stop songs, frontman Harry changes his electric guitar for an acoustic marking the start of three slower yet just as big tracks. Someday, Under the Moon and Float Forever get 800 singing aong at the top of their voices. The room is full of sweat and happiness and Peace tear through more anthemic songs from both Happy People and In Love before ending their set with two from E.P Delicious, the release that started Peace's successful career, including 10 minute belter 1998 that got a huge reaction. A big pit opened up for the drop only for Harry Koisser to pause and play the riff to Smells Like Teen Spirit before luanching back into 1998. The band return to the stage for three more, closing their set with World Pleasure giving Sam Koisser the chance to shine with his bass solo. Afterwards he tells me whilst laughing, "They've got better with the bass solo, I get my own light now, they're making sure it's my moment."
The night is a huge success for Peace and it's a taster as to what Friday night's gigantic Brixton Academy show might bring. Latest album Happy People is clearly pushing the band to new heights but the older material feels just as special. The greatest thing about it all is this still feels like the beginning for Peace. The four-piece still have a long way to go, it's just unsure if Harry Koisser's white Dr Martens will last much longer.