INDIE-rock band, Peace, were at the Manchester Academy last night. So was our entertainment reporter Hollie Rees, this is what she thought…

The sixth night of their headline tour saw indie-rock quartet, Peace, essentially throw a huge party for both old and newer fans inside the walls of Manchester Academy. Each of the eighteen songs played could be heard bouncing from said walls and nobody in the crowd could stay still. Packed full of effortless energy and an incredible atmosphere, the sold out show definitely delivered.

Kicking off the evening was an intense half-hour set from London trio, Yak. I arrived to find this up and coming band already on stage playing to an engrossed crowd made up of girls propped up on friends’ shoulders and boys darting around small mosh pits. ‘Plastic People’ had everyone moving along, even if unfamiliar with the band’s music prior to the gig.

Closely following and slightly earlier than their stated stage time was Splashh, a five-piece also from London. Contrasting with Yak’s set, this group began their set with chilled, slow songs and gradually built up the energy ahead of Peace’s set. Frontman, Sasha Carlson, encouraged the crowd to move throughout and more mosh pits were formed as everyone shouted along to ‘Vacation’.

Splashh supporting Peace at Manchester Academy
Splashh supporting Peace at Manchester Academy

Both Yak and Splashh were fitting for the evening and have now been added to my playlists. Straight after the warm-up sets came to a close, the crowd were itching for Peace to take to the stage and the more impatient began chanting “Peace! Peace! Peace!” with half an hour still to go before their stated stage time.

After what seemed like a lifetime, the group of four arrived donning choppy haircuts, coats and shirts and instantly burst into ‘O You’, the first track from their latest album, ‘Happy People’. The atmosphere in the room swiftly changed and resembled a big party or celebration of some sort, with flashing lights highlighting every jumping body in the room.

‘Wraith’ taken from their 2013 album, ‘In Love’, was the second track to be played and the room exploded yet again confirming there was a mixture of old and newer fans within the crowd.

Frontman, Harrison Koisser, stopped after every song to say a quick thanks and to introduce the next. There was also a firm focus on Manchester throughout the set, with him starting off a chant which was then picked up by the eager crowd and him repeatedly claiming to love the city which was obviously met by cheers.

With all four band members sounding just as polished as on both recorded albums, ‘Follow Baby’, ‘I’m a Girl’ and ‘Money’ all followed before the mood toned down and lighters were held high above the crowd to accompany chilled tracks ‘Someday’ and ‘Under the Moon’. The crowd continued to sing along and this slower section in the middle of the set allowed for reflection on the band’s amazing journey so far.

Peace3Upping the tempo again came a classic track, ‘Bloodshake’ and a newer track, ‘Gen Strange’ before the first performance of ‘Saturday Girl’, which Koisser claimed they “never normally do”. The comparison between songs was striking as each and every one by the band has a totally different and unique sound.

The set was due to come to a close with catchy ‘California Daze’ but chanting from the crowd led to an encore made up of three final songs.’Lovesick’ had everyone cheering and dancing along, as did the first track from their first album, ‘Higher Than The Sun’. I felt that the third and final track, ‘World Pleasure’, was quite an unusual choice of song to finish on but it still left everyone in the room buzzing from what they’d just experienced.

After first seeing Peace in a smaller and more intimate venue last year, it was impressive to see just much they’ve grown as a band, picking up more fans on the way and switching up their stage presence following the release of ‘Happy People’. Stating that this was their biggest show to date, it’s clearly a sign that Peace are moving onto bigger and better things.

By: Hollie Rees

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