Having recently opened up for this year’s NME Awards Tour, and released their debut album In Love, which reached number 16 in the UK album chart, Birmingham based quartet Peace have earned a huge amount of hype surrounding them, and last night they were welcomed to the Portsmouth Wedgewood rooms by an audience of 500, most of whom were in their teens and dressed to the nines in tie die and sequins, trying to replicate the band’s own psychedelic style.
Their devoted fan base has grown exponentially since the release of their stunning EP Delicious last September, and this made for an electric atmosphere from the moment fans started queuing (6.00pm!) until the band left the stage.
Warming up for them were Superfood, fellow brummies with a fun and energetic set to kick the night off. They closed with their groovy self-titled track Superfood, their only song that has officially been made available to the public, which was particularly impressive. As well as this, it was great to hear their other material for the first time, and they certainly made it clear that Birmingham is the place for music right now.
Peace arrived on stage to an ecstatic crowd, from which came clamorous chants of “If you all love Peace, clap your hands!” They opened with Delicious, a track taken from their debut album, which had the crowd singing and dancing to every word from the off.
Throughout their set, the buzz and activity in the crowd was non-stop. As someone who witnessed the whole gig from the barrier, I can say that I felt the full force of it. The audience surged forward on every beat in an attempt to get just one step closer to dreamy frontman Harrison Koisser.
A particular highlight of the set was Float Forever, which Harrison introduced as “The emotional one”. This was another album track which provoked the biggest sing along I may have ever heard in such a small venue. To watch everybody sing in unison was a sight to behold and a beautiful part of the evening.
When Harrison announced that for their final song they were going to play a track from their EP that was “Really really really long”, piercing screams erupted instantly from the audience. It was of course, 1998, a Binary Finary track which the band so brilliantly reinvented into a 10 minute epic and a favourite among fans. It was the track that everybody had been waiting for, and the ambience throughout its entirety was utterly euphoric.
It goes without saying then, that the crowd had had nowhere near enough by the time Peace left the stage, and chanted “One more song! One more song!” until they returned to perform California Daze. It was an interesting choice for the encore, due to its slow tempo and emotional character, but it still went down incredibly well and had everybody singing along.
Finally, Peace played Bloodshake, arguably the first track that made everybody fall in love (If you’ll excuse the pun) with them in the first place. It was a brilliant way to end the night, and the audience were on cloud nine throughout it. Guitarist Doug Castle went into the crowd only to be almost ripped to shreds by hysterical fans and pulled back by security.
The whole evening was electric, and it’s clear that this band have a hugely keen and dedicated following, which is what made their show so intimate and special.