12 April, 2015

Gig Review... Palace @ Red Gallery, London, 10th April 2015

By the end of 2015 Palace could well be the success story of the year. Making their name as Jamie T’s support act last summer, it’s been a fast learning experience for the humble band. 
Photo taken by Marie-Claire Acton
Tonight they play the second show of their residency at Shoreditch’s Red Gallery; their biggest shows to date. I sat down with their drummer, Matt, to reminisce over their past few months including not one, but two invites to support Jamie T and their first UK tour. “That was awesome that tour, it seems like another world away. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing but that was instrumental.”

If their autumn tour last year was the making of Palace then these two shows are about nurturing the most intriguing melodies around right now. By the time night falls in Shoreditch, the quartet step out in front of those who have followed the subtle pitter-patter of their ascent so far. 

They’ve become more tight-knit and frontman, Leo, who used to cut a figure of a jittery Orlando Weeks, now snarls down the mic, scrunching up his face in ‘I Want What You Got’ and ‘Ocean Deep’. The charming pair of tracks from debut EP, ‘Lost In The Night’, whisper through a still crowd whereas Foals infused track, ‘So Long Forever’, could soon be ricocheting through a festival-sized tent. Its thumping drums and thunderous chorus are destined for bigger things but is something Palace would be used to after supporting Jamie T on his European tour recently. “They were massive venues” says Matt. “Some of the shit we saw was unreal. The crowd would part like Moses parting the red sea and people would just run at each other.” As rowdy as those crowds may have been, Matt admits they were able to win people over and with latest release, ‘Kiloran’, they’re set to blossom with their new EP which he says  has “no weak links.”

‘Black Heath’ is another of the tracks yet to be released on record. It soars towards a woozy jam and Leo clutches his guitar through the beads of sweat bursting from his brow. “Everything’s going really smoothly” Leo chuckles after picking the wrong guitar up for the band’s now routine cover of Chris Isaac’s ‘Wicked Game’. It’s Palace at their most sexy before bombarding the crowd with a triumphant singalong to ‘Bitter’. 

Relentless they have been and they’re set to keep going after the next EP. “An album feels like the next natural step” reveals Matt. Many of the tracks played tonight could well make their mark on that, including final song, ‘Head Above The Water’ which treads heavily before erupting into all types of instrumentals. With the band set to soar over summer, it’s worth noting “a big London show in Autumn” should be on the horizon, says Matt. 

Moments off stage and the champagne’s popped open, greeted with sweaty grins. More small victories like this and Palace will soon claim a very big throne amongst Britain’s most riotous bands.