Review: Peace at Queen’s Social Club 30/01/15

After the success of debut album In Love two years ago, Peace take to the road to tour their second album Happy People, due for release later this month. Last Friday night saw the band take up a two night residency at Sheffield’s Queens Social Club, with both evenings performing to a sold out crowd. Opening with fan favourite ‘Higher Than the Sun’, the tiny venue was soon turned into a jumping, dancing, sweaty mess. With a crowd who mostly still appeared to be in their teens, the band’s exuberance was matched, if not exceeded, by the adoring fans that battled through the snow to see them play. Indeed, half-way through the set, frontman Harry Koisser declared that this was ‘one of the best Friday nights of my life’, before later emerging on stage in a wolf mask and onesie for the three-song encore. The raucous energy of the evening never faded, with crowd surfing from fans and band members alike (bassist Sam Koisser even managed to play a solo while riding the waves of outstretched hands). The comradery between those on stage and those off was remarkable, from Harry declaring that ‘this one if for the ladies’ before striking up the intro to the uplifting ‘California Daze’, to singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to one lucky fan who was pulled up on stage to join the band. Not only was the band’s showmanship on form, they seem to have grown in confidence since those early days in 2013. With an undeniable swagger, the band reeled out songs both old and new; the formers having their lyrics sung back every time. The new songs demonstrated tunes that were not much of a departure from the last album, yet seemed to be infused with other genres to give them more of a punch. Recent single ‘Lost On Me’ has aspects resembling an eighties disco track, while newest release ‘I’m a Girl’ is a heavy, chugging tune, with obvious grunge influences. If Peace had one a failing during the set, it came in the form of ‘1998’ – a b-side that only half the crowd seemed to know, and which saw the band embark on a outro so long that the crowd ceased to be even swaying by its end. However, the fourpiece soon picked up their previous momentum, with tracks such as ‘Wraith’ and ‘Lovesick’ getting the biggest response.

With that notoriously difficult second album deciding which direction the band will take next, Peace should rest assured that as far as their live shows are concerned, they’re leaders in the field. An ecstatic, joyous, heartfelt performance, Peace are definitely not a band to be missed live. And, kudos where it’s due, a final note to Harry, who rather astonishingly managed to keep his fur coat on for the entire duration of the gig – I salute you sir.

Tara Hodgson

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