In the last year, Peace have shown they’re capable of a lot. With the diversity of their sound encompassing the quiet delicacy of ‘Float Forever’ or ‘California Daze’, to the pop-enthused infectiousness of ‘Money’ and ‘Perfect Skin’, and performances at Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds festivals in 2015 adding to the already fever-pitch level of excitement around the boys from Birmingham, playing the biggest headline show they’ve ever done in the nation’s capital was always going to be a special night. And they certainly show they know how to party.
Following sets from YAK and Splashh, Harry takes to the stage in signature eccentric style, dressed in what could easily be a ‘scientist-chique’ white lab-coat, followed by Sam, Doug and Dom, and their trademark nonchalance – especially from Harry – gives them a stage presence that is at once effortless and engaging, and seeing a crowd feed off one of Britain’s fastest rising bands makes for a mesmerising spectacle. The floor is awash with raised arms from the opening notes of ‘O You’, and, quite admirably, they don’t stop singing the entire night.
The set is a mix of both new album releases and older stuff, as ‘Happy People’ gets its first outing on the road, and ‘In Love’ continues to enthral the masses across the country over two years after its initial release. Every classic and contemporary hit is met with the same vocal passion that it must inspire in its listeners, with the roars ‘California Daze’ and ‘Money’ raising the noise in the South London venue to near deafening levels.
The O2 Academy in Brixton is renowned for being the final hurdle on any artist’s road to contemporary rock-star status, and has often proved a stumbling block for bands who otherwise showed tantalising amounts of promise. Peace however, are a different story. Having built up a following of already devoted fans, their rise towards the top has been immutable, and seemingly unstoppable. With more shows scheduled across the UK and beyond, it looks like these boys from the midlands are set to keep on rising.
See Patrick Gunning’s photos from the gig here
Words by Ben Kitto