In the third and final night of Peace’s Manchester residency at The Deaf Institute, there was a euphoric vibe in the air. From the hardcore die-hard fans to the Happy People newbies, everyone was writhing with anticipation. But before Peace could bring the inevitable chaos, Manchester band Flesh had to take to the stage. With snarling Liam Gallagher-esque vocals and the bagginess of The Stone Roses, Flesh belted out a 30 minute set that emitted attitude and confidence. Tracks like Vauxhall Casanova fed off their Manchester roots, whilst other tracks like Dead Lonely captured the power of the New York garage rock scene. Dynamic, infectious and oh so Manc, Flesh are certainly a band that you should all be keeping your eye (or ears) out for.
The time of Peace was now upon us. Before even the band played a note, the crowd was shifting around the tightly packed venue of 260 adoring fans. Kicking off with one of their newer tracks Gen Strange, fans jump around like it’s the last gig of their lives. Singing every lyric, this gig was a celebration of Peace’s brilliance. From there Peace smashed into Follow Baby, who’s grungy britpop vibes echoed within the old walls of the beautiful venue. Friends and complete strangers were turning to each other and singing every lyric in unison. Other tracks from the bands debut In Love; Wraith, Higher Than The Sun and Lovesick, got the same reaction as the fans just went feral. Crowdsurfers and moshpits galore, these tracks still sound as fresh as they did when they were released two years ago. Peace as a band may have shifted slightly sonically in terms of new material but their live shows still remain the same anarchic disorder that they’ve always been.
Last year releases Money and Lost On Me make appearances within the set and sound like they’ve been part of the bands discography for years. Money’s cutting hook causes everyone to flop around like a school of fish out of water, whilst the poppiness of Lost On Me causes a dance off amongst fans.
However the night wasn’t just full of sweaty teenagers throwing their bodies around, there was also moments of calmness and reflection. The heartbreaking ballad Someday was played halfway through, resulting in a mass singalong. Being one the stand out moments of the band’s latest album, Someday transferred perfectly live as Harrison croons over a lost love. Happy People continues this subdued ambiance as Harrison contemplates ‘Where did all the Happy People go?’.
Now it wouldn’t be a proper Peace gig without the inclusion of fan favourite 1998(Delicious) would it? As the first notes from Sam Koisser’s bass play, the crowd erupt with colossal power. The intensity of this 10 minute behemoth results in insane mosh pits and virtually everybody zoning out towards the end as the track embeds itself into everyone’s minds. At one point there was multiple people crying with complete musical emotion from the brilliance that is radiated from this track.
The gig then took an odd turn as Harrison started to sing the Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney collaboration FourFiveSeconds. After completing the first verse, he triumphantly says under his breath ‘Fucking nailed it’. Peace then flowed into California Daze. A track that gained mass media attention when it was released back in 2012, it still manages to book a place in Peace’s live shows. With fans clambering onto their friend’s shoulders in hope to get a split second of eye contact with the band, California Daze managed to create a moment that showed how important this band really are. They aren’t just your run of the mill indie band, they are much more than that. New tracks such as Perfect Skin receive a massive reception from the audience and I’m A Girl perfectly ends the first part of the set of it classic Peace fashion.
With the sound of ‘Manchester la la la’ ringing in everyone’s ears, Peace returned to the stage and began to play an unknown jam. This quickly turned into fan favourite Bloodshake. Fans lost their shit as guitarist Doug played instantly recognisable yet infectious guitar riff. Ending on a flurry of psychedelic guitars that resulted in the most riotous mosh pit of the night since 1998(Delicious), Bloodshake shows that it’s still one of Peace’s best despite it’s age.
Harrison then addressed the crowd for what track they should play next. From requests of Disclosure’s White Noise to Wonderwall, the track that caught the band’s ear was one of their earlier tracks Ocean’s Eye. ‘We haven’t played this track in over two years, so if you know it then you’ve been with us for a while’ says Harrison as the band work out how to start the track. Peace burst straight into it and deliver on every level. The rawness and the youthfulness of the track was awe-inspiring, it was a complete ode to us fans who’ve supported them since before EP Delicious.
Harrison again asked the crowd for suggestions and one track that everyone seemed to want was Drain. Before starting they let the crowd know that they weren’t confident that they knew it all but they’d give it their best shot. Halfway through, Harrison passed the microphone to a member of the audience who sand every word. Said fan was the then invited on stage to finish the track off.
The band let the fan stay on stage for Float Forever, where he had Librertine-esque chemistry with Harrison. Swaying away to the bliss sounds of the guitars, this was a moment he’ll no doubt cherish forever. After a stage dive from the fan, Peace geared up to finish on World Pleasure. The heavily influenced track helped show off the band’s musical maturity. From bass solos to a Stone Roses styled finish, this helped Peace display their full talent. Fans invaded the stage throughout, resulting in security having to take action. This didn’t deter anyone and the set ended in explosive psychedelic finale.
I’ve been to see Peace live many times, this being my seventh, and I can honestly say they are getting better and better. They know their strengths and they focus on them.There isn’t many live shows out there like it. The vast amount energy and crowd unity made me proud to say that I’m a Peace fan.