Gig Review... Peace @ Nation Of Shopkeepers, Leeds, 27th October 2012

After a long stretch of drinking and rather decent support bands, Peace finally make it on stage at 10:30pm in the depths of Nation – a somewhat intimate venue for which the audience are at the same level as the band. This closeness draws the best out the Brummieboys as they interact with the crowd throughout their set with ‘cheerful banter’ and plenty of jokes. After warming up through the opener, it’s clear what the quartet’s intentions are tonight. They do what they want. They push boundaries and somehow pull it off most of the time. Rumbling through storms ‘Follow Baby’ and B-side ‘Lil’ Echo’, the directness of their sound hit hard and send the 100 odd people wild. By softening things up through ‘California Daze’, we see the whole room imitate lead singer Harrison’s fragile rasps and we can see why this band have big ambitions and why they have been so sort after.

But most impressive of all is ‘1998’, on which the band take Binary Finary’s classic of the same name and turn it into a post-rock monster that’s 10 minutes of pure brilliance – reaching into Explosions In The Sky territory. The version teases you even more in the flesh than on record, bursting into an earful of cymbals and wailing its way to a messy finale. The band run through crowd favourite ‘Bloodshake’; in doing so show why they are one of the most exciting live bands in the UK at the moment. The guitars and bongo-infused drums are as fruity as their EP sleeve; while an unexpected confetti cannon explosion flings the sweaty crowd into a wilder state. As the crowd and the band (without clearing stage) filter out of the venue into the bar across the partition, the lingering feeling is that this time next year Peace will be doing the same critical thing with bigger, wilder audiences.

Peace played:
Ocean’s Eyes
Follow Baby
Lil’ Echo
California Daze

Written by - Richard Maver

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