Words by Althea Patterson / pics by Katja Ogrin
As an original Indie kid of the 1990’s, I feel Peace are stealing from MY era. Suede, Radiohead, Inspiral Carpets, Mudhoney, and further back to Talking Heads and Curiosity Killed the Cat; they’re not a band without obvious, if not anachronistic, peer comparison.
And whilst the 90’s may be over, tonight the O2 Academy is again heavy with sweat and teenage beer fuelled angst; ready for the new Indie king’s biggest hometown gig to date. Peace are already in full swing and feeling pretty accomplished; groomed to look dishevelled, with colour co-ordinated stage set with mini peace signs (geddit?). Was this the same band that made such fey videos I’ve been watching all week?
On the ground, teenagers mingle comfortably with members of the congregation who remember their aforementioned influences first time around. Jade, a 20 yr old student, gushes Peace are “Electrically soothing,” before dashing off to join the thrall of the pit. Sophie, 24, beams “They’re alive! Way better than they were at Glastonbury; their real fans are here”.
And it would appear so, with the crowd’s devotion exploding after Peace pop off stage right for a short breather – returning to much handclapping and the teasing, growling bass of my favourite track of the night, the Binary Finary cover ‘1998 (Delicious)’.
Surly pint supping teens rock and bounce to ‘Wraith’, almost as easily as their weak kneed elders. Whist every track meets with applause, cheers, and forceful crowd surfing; the mob spewing sweat drenched danced out lads to the outskirts of the room. Then, as befitting their homecoming, a tickertape bursts into the air before ‘California Dreams’, bringing a bit of Fred Neil hippy dippy trippy to downtown December Brum.
On the negative, there could have been more in the way of crowd interaction, and I felt image was uppermost – the phrase ‘We Are Serious Artists’ comes to mind.
And whilst geeing up a crowd may not come easy to some, it feels as if Peace’s front man, Harrison Kossier, is relying on prompts in between cultivating his cool on stage persona. His crowd conversations sound clichéd, and dare I say scripted to appear between particular songs. Long live spontaneity eh? But the nearby merchandise stall was doing a roaring trade in £30 Peace hoodies, ironically enough.
After a great rendition of ‘Last Christmas’, that would have had George Michael swerving off the road in happiness, Peace thank the crowd and end on ‘Bloodshake’ – turning the O2 Academy into a mini Glastonbury Festival.
As Peace’s set ends, an air of love fills the venue’s main room – an audience appreciation possibly assisted by the contraband being not -so-subtly distributed by shady geezers in sportswear and Trimm Trabs.
My goodness. Perhaps the 90’s really are back…
For more on Peace, visit http://peaceforeverever.co.uk/
For more event listings at the O2 Academy Birmingham, visit http://www.o2academybirmingham.co.uk/
For more from Birmingham Promoters, visit http://birminghampromoters.com/