There’s something special about seeing Peace live but there’s something even more special about seeing Peace live in Birmingham. With a near sell-out crowd, Peace came home to the O2 Academy in Birmingham for the last date of their UK tour and showed how they rightfully are the leaders of ‘B-Town’; not just part of the fad though – they are here to stay.
Up first were Superfood; Birmingham favourites. Who else could Peace have chosen? It’s like they had unfinished business since they had to pull out of when Peace’s last tour visited Birmingham. Earlier this year the band were untraceable online but 4 tracks later it’s clear the word’s got around. A Britpop-infused set filled with catchy choruses, strong riffs and driving drums which the ever-growing crowd were increasingly being captivated by. Ending things with the self-titled crowd-pleaser ‘Superfood’ the crowd began to move and shout along with the anthemic line “you’re always hungry”. Keep your eye on these guys as they’re going to get even bigger in 2014.
Carrying things on were Drenge who as soon as they stepped on stage caused the Academy to completely change atmosphere with the immediate surge forward of the crowd. Beginning with ‘Gun Crazy’ it was soon clear that this set was going to get sweaty. Everything soon turned into chaos – as expected – when the Loveless brothers reached ‘Bloodsports’ with no-one being able to stand straight or still. Soon things did slow when there was an outbreak of “this song is a fuckabout” from Eoin Loveless leaving everyone time to have a quick breather before the raw and untamed chaos returned. The dreaded end of their set soon came upon everyone with the opening riff of ‘Face Like A Skull’ sounding out leaving everyone one last opportunity to make this the best date for Drenge yet – which it of course was.
The dimming of lights signalled for the whole venue to erupt with screams and shouts for the homecoming of Peace. ‘Waste of Paint’ quickly made everyone relive the madness again and got even the seated part of the audience to get on their feet with the punching riffs and enduring vocals which no-one could help but sing (but mostly shout) along with. ‘Follow Baby’ and ‘Higher Than The Sun’ followed keeping up with nostalgic anthems we’re all familiar with but leaving a more gritty aftertaste with the crowd. With mosh-pits breaking out everywhere even during the likes of ‘Float Forever’ Harrison Koisser was right to say “it feels very Friday night in here.” We even got a little insight into the next ventures of the Worcester 4-piece with new track ‘Money’ which is something to get excited about; next year things will get even better for Peace.
Closing the main set off with ‘1998 (Delicious)’ which has become pretty notorious for getting messy; Peace’s Binary Finary cover of 10 minutes of pure genius is the anthem we all want to hear live. Expectations and anticipation were high as the gradual build up packed full of hushed riffs and bass lines played out; this song is just waiting for people to kick off when it reaches its climax. The release of a confetti canon gave everyone the go-ahead to get lost in the whole atmosphere; falling confetti and a room full of sweat is not a good mix.
No-one wanted Peace to leave; the shouting of “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” and the repetitive outcry of “Peace” left the guys only off stage for what seemed like seconds. Swiftly going into the slow and gentle ‘California Daze’ everyone got a little break until realising what was coming next. Peace have become well known for their covers such as ‘White Noise’ and last Christmas’ mash-up of ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and ‘Creep’. This year we got a beautiful rendition of ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! which with only 12 days left till Christmas fitted perfectly with members of the audience draping themselves in tinsel and lights. The closer was ‘Bloodshake’ which since its origins as ‘Bblood’ has been what we’ve known Peace for; the instantly recognisable opening riff and chorus of “we spit blood at the sun, we spit blood at the ocean” got the crowd using up the little energy they had left out to let the gig finish on a high.
You can’t fault Peace live. There’s no need to worry about the future of Peace as they’ve made it clear they’re here to stay and here to stay for a while.