REVIEW: Peace @ O2 Academy, 27th April

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Words by Holly Pyke, pics by Charlie Rose

I first saw Peace perform in June 2012, supporting Editors, and found them to be mediocre musically.

But a lot has happened for this band over the last ten months and I was keen to see how they’d grown. And where better than their big homecoming gig, at the O2 Academy on Saturday 27 April?

Championed by NME, The Guardian, the BBC, and many other online publications as the next big thing to come out of Birmingham, Peace entered the stage to great applause.

_DSC1700 - SM LRAlthough, and similarly to their support band – a last minute (and seemingly unannounced) change from Superfood to JAWS, Peace made little interaction with the crowd, other than asking “How you feeling?” several times throughout the set.

This surprised me for a homecoming gig, especially one attended by such a large and enthusiastic crowd, and consequently I felt the mood slump in the silences between tracks._DSC1687 - SM LR

Despite a difficulty, at times, to distinguish between songs – Peace’s performance was tight, their drummer skilled and (despite being difficult to hear due to the poor sound at the O2 Academy) the backing vocals impressive; maybe sometimes even more so than the lead vocals.

But with only their EP ‘Delicious’ and current debut album ‘In Love’ behind them Peace don’t have an extensive back catalogue to draw upon. And whilst the majority of the songs played had memorable moments, the set remained largely forgettable (aside for ‘Lovesick’, which stuck in my head for all the wrong reasons).

_DSC1700 - SM LRHowever tracks such as ‘Float Forever’ and ‘Follow Baby’ did stand out – with ‘Wraith’ and ‘Scumbag’ beginning to provoke some real energy throughout the room.

Unfortunately this was not to last, as ‘1998 (Delicious)’ followed in ten overly long minutes with the impact of a funeral dirge. Luckily the youthful front row remained unaffected, and in place, as Peace’s guitarist leapt off stage – in a lone crowd surf that represented the pinnacle of their audience interaction.

Peace finished their set without saying a word.

Overall, and sadly, I found Peace to be pretentious and bland performers – completely lacking in the showmanship, or camaraderie, you’d expect at a highly anticipated homecoming gig.

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And whilst it’s entirely possible I lack all relevant musical taste, I did see the audience shrink during the main performance – with more leaving before the encore was over. So I may not be alone. If this Peace, give me war.

Peace’s debut album, ‘In Love’, is out now.

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For more on Peace, visit http://peaceforeverever.co.uk

3 Responses to REVIEW: Peace @ O2 Academy, 27th April

  1. Chris May 2, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    This review can be summed up by the critic’s ineffable remark ‘And whilst it’s entirely possible I lack all relevant musical taste…’
    You are over thirty aren’t you??? go put your Screamadelica CD on and ignore us

    • birminghamreview May 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      **Ed’s note – Birmingham Review sincerely welcomes comments. There is always a right to reply. So kudos Chris – you’re prepared to stick your neck out**

  2. birminghamreview May 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Didn’t realise there was an age limit on music – useful to know, thanks Chris. And is ‘put your Screamadelica CD on’ an insult? I shall tell Weatherall, again thanks Chris.

    Aside from all that – anything constructive?

    p.s.
    Ineffable remark? Whilst you’re consulting your dictionary, look up ‘oxymoron’