Words by Khryssy Blount / Pics by Courtney Blount
Normally I say, “On a warm spring evening, I am going to review…” However I believe this will work much better: I am going to review a band named Peaness. Yes, you are reading that correctly.
I choose to sit on the sidelines, rather stickily on the stairs, peeking through the stair rails. The crowd assembles as the first band, Maybe Don’t, steps onto the stage; the audience falls silent. We are all suddenly blasted with a heady mix of loud, slightly out of tune, singing and melodic guitar playing. The band (after this rather loud introduction) present themselves, “Hi, we’re Maybe Don’t and we have politics…”
However no political statements were to be seen, apart from the lead singer/guitarist having to tune his guitar before playing another song and trying to say “Peaness”. The crowd is a mixed bag of folks, some moving along to the music eagerly and others looking bemused.
I am feeling like a wild caged animal at this point, grabbing onto the bars of the stairs, and I find myself subconsciously nodding my head along to the loud riffs as Maybe Don’t finish up their set. A small interval happens, taking a small proportion of the crowd back upstairs, before Mondo Royale take to the stage as six piece group.
Unfortunately I don’t catch the names of the band members apart from a keyboard player called ‘Ben’, but Mondo Royale launch into a soulful and jazzy tune, guiding the crowd to clap along with them to the beat, and the audience oblige. It is almost as if they own the stage and their song ‘Sonic Boom’ certainly gets things going.
Both singers jive and dance along whilst harmonising with the funky soulful jazz infused beats. ‘Day and Night’ turns up the levels and the room comes alive (at one point it’s pointed out that it is getting just warm enough for one of the lead singers) but the song that really sets everything on fire though is ‘Run, Run, Run’. A brilliant set; Mondo Royale are hard to put into a box, with styles ranging from Abba to Depeche Mode.
Time for tonight’s the headline as act Peaness start setting up; the stage and the audience are, by now, all nicely warmed up. Without introduction they begin playing and launch into a series of Pea-pop chord progressions and toe tappingly good harmonies.
Now they introduce themselves, “Hi, we’re Peaness and we’re from Chester”, and get stuck into another one of their songs off their No Fun E.P. Unlike the other two bands tonight, Peaness seem to have some microphone issues. The audience seems to have calmed down too, until Peaness go into a new track called ‘Ugly Veg’ off their upcoming debut album, set for release later this year. A few people attempt to jump up and down to the track with limited success.
Peaness also have their guitars slightly louder than the vocals, so you can’t really hear the words – which is a shame as the trio appear to be a tight knit gang.
The rest of the gig goes by in what seems a flash, including moments of laughter at the drummer having a “spa day” in Birmingham while the singer and other guitarist had to slog in from Chester, “These guys had to come all the way from Chester while I was getting a back rub”. Peaness are young, genuine and in parts comical, and not just due to their name.
The gig winds down, and without a set list the audience have nothing to squabble over. Except perhaps the merch store which has cute and cuddly stuffed toy peas with googley eyes. But it’s the music I came for tonight and if I get the chance I’ll be back to see Peaness again.
For more on Peaness, visit www.peanessband.tumblr.com
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