Walking into one of Edinburgh’s smaller venues I feel I could well have been forgiven for believing I had somehow stumbled upon an under 14s Urban Outfitters convention such was the array of picture Ts and triangle-adorned vestments. Top buttons were fastened and denim was a necessity but these unwritten fashion regulations could be overlooked. Just.
If you are unfamiliar with Peace, they are an up and coming four piece from Birmingham who produce groovy, at times almost psychedelic, pop-rock. Their debut EP ‘Delicious’ surfaced last year atop a wave of positive feedback from the likes of NME who later put them on the bill as part of their NME Awards tour with Django Django, Miles Kane and Palma Violets. ‘In Love’ their recently released album built on their early successes going straight in at number 16 in the UK album charts on its first week of release. Peace promised much and, admittedly, seemed to deliver with their first full length offering.
Often bands surrounded by so much hype and expectation fall short of the mark and I was intrigued to see how they would translate their sound to a live setting. 350 people packed into what was becoming increasingly one of the hottest rooms i’ve ever had the discomfort of enduring, but endure it we did and thankfully Peace did not keep us waiting and arrived promptly on stage on the dot at 9PM as promised. They too appeared to have gone on an afternoon reconnaissance of the local Urban Outfitters and oh did the crowd appreciate this, shouting their names fervently in a strangely premature display of appreciation.
An hour long set took in almost the entirety of their new album and some of last year’s EP and was fantastically entertaining. The crowd danced, chanted and sang along loyally and the band, obviously still excited by such popularity, sweated and writhed and high-fived the front row just like they’re meant to. Peace sounded great, the poppy anthemic choruses sounded even bigger and the heartfelt, slower songs like ‘Float Forever’ became that little bit more believable but there was still something missing, something that only exploded into the fore when the band broke into an impromptu breakdown which exuded the raw, energetic groove that I’d really wanted to see from them.
This was the suburbia of gigs, the songs sounded nice and everyone did what they were meant to but it lacked the edge I had hoped for. Doubtless, Peace are a good band producing good music, but as for being one of the most exciting bands of the year I just don’t see it. I’m sure their fans will return to school, sing their praises, wear their merchandise and put their posters on their walls but for me they could’ve done with just a little more chaos.
Words: Leo Bargery