20th May | SWX
Photos: Rowan Allen
Technical problems, sound issues and microphones with a mind of their own – Peace had everything thrown at them on Sunday night. Having to leave the stage after only a couple of chords from opening song, ‘Wraith’ so that roadies could frantically sort out their fuzzy sound, they returned with the promise that despite the thirty-minute delay caused, they would indeed be playing their full set, leaving the curfew in the wind.
After a brief opening snippet and the time it took to locate the problem, the crowd were royally riled up and ready to welcome the boys back to the stage. So when, seemingly making up for lost time, the band steamrolled straight into a duo of punchy upbeat tracks, they were met with roars of appreciation. With a quick aside of, “that was a song about power, this one’s about money,” anthemic single ‘Power’ was followed up by the satirical ‘Money’ and the party was well and truly underway.
With a large chunk of the new album Kindness Is The New Rock and Roll worked into the setlist, new tracks seemed to be welcomed as eagerly as old favourites. Slow-builder ‘Silverlined’ started off in a gentle acoustic fashion, before the drumbeat crashed in and a trademark romantic guitar solo had the room swaying. Followed up by ‘Shotgun Hallelujah’ and its jaunty chorus, these felt a world away from the floatier tracks from In Love that would be cropping up later; the clue’s in the name – ‘Float Forever’.
The making of the show came with ‘1998,’ slap bang in the middle of the set. Probably one of the band’s most rousing songs so far, the ten-minute riff-heavy number was contrastingly both dreamlike and energetic. As the lights flashed, paired with that unique slightly-underwater guitar sound Peace have mastered, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a psychedelic club setting rather than watching an indie band from Birmingham on the steps of SWX. So when normal service resumed with much-needed breather ‘California Daze,’ it was unfortunately slightly anti-climactic.
Enter ‘Lovesick’, the short but sweet singalong song that holds a firm place in Peace fans’ hearts, and a good ol’ chant to ‘Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll,’ an anti-war ballad that couldn’t be more fitting for the headline act. All-in-all, Peace delivered a pleasant set with roaring highs and mellow beachy tracks rolled in, with a general feeling of nicety sprinkled on top, suited to fans old and new.