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Live review: Peace @ O2 Forum Kentish Town, 16/05/18


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Kicking off their tour just over a week ago, last night Birmingham band Peace stopped by an excitable O2 Forum.

Fresh off the back of their new album, Kindness Is The New Rock and Roll, you'd expect the iconic London venue to be full to the brim. It seemed a fitting choice with a capacity of 2,300; however, with empty seating evident in the balcony area, the non-sold-out show felt perhaps a stretch with fans not getting on board with their 'new album sound'. 

Regardless, the Brummie rockers opened the show with biblical fan favourite '1998' and the whole venue burst into action, the energy filling every space, wall to wall.

Front man Harry Koisser’s endlessly cool panache was exhibited no more perfectly in this ten minute anthem, teasing the crowd with a pause to remove his floor length Cruella Deville-esque fur coat before the much anticipated drop – something which Drummer Dominic ‘Boycie’ Boyce entertained on twitter in the previous week.

Keen to bridge the gap between new and old, Peace continued the set with the recent single ‘Power’, followed by ‘Money’, ‘Siverlined’ and ‘I’m a Girl’ as the second and third albums intertwined. ‘Toxic’, from the band’s debut album In Love brought a nostalgic aura to the atmosphere, with the entire floor going wild for the sounds which first brought the band to the world's stage.

Koisser entertained great banter between songs, explicitly commenting on how he had forgotten the chord to start ‘Wraith’. "That’s very unprofessional off me and it won’t happen again”, he half jokingly apologised. The crowd didn't mind.

From this point onwards it was recognised that previously upbeat tracks such as ‘Perfect Skin’ were performed as slower, acoustic versions - taming the crowd from the sweaty, bouncing, shoulder-stacked atmosphere, but still receiving a massive response nonetheless. Latest single ‘You Don’t Walk Away From Love’ was received well as a euphoric new album track, being followed by two comparably passionate tracks, ‘California Daze’ and ‘From Under Liquid Glass’. The crowd took to both these songs, belting out the lyrics "she tastes like sunlight", and "my soul must be feared".

Expressing that the band would not be having an encore as such, Sam, Doug and Boycie then all temporarily exited backstage “to have a Jager-B” whilst Harry performed the seventeenth track of the set, ‘Float Forever’, as a solo. Following on from this, ‘World Pleasure’ was then played as an unrehearsed special request, with the other three members returning on stage as the song turned from acoustic back to its full bouncing glory. Sam Koisser took centre stage as his bassline enters halfway through the song, being backed by flickering stage lights and an erupting crowd.

To maintain the atmosphere, ‘Lovesick’ was then played as the third ‘encore’ song, before Harry took to the piano to play the new album's title track ‘Kindness Is the New Rock and Roll’. Lastly, Peace brought back their fundamental technicolour tie-dye world with ‘Bloodshake’, thereby, both starting and ending the night with much-loved tracks from their first ep, EP Delicious.

From the very start, Peace owned the stage and showed everybody why they remain a great live band in the British indie guitar music scene. The audience was seamlessly united under the roof of O2 Forum Kentish Town, enjoying the considerate 21 song setlist in high spirits.

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