Club NME @ Koko, London, December 31
Barely a year since they emerged from Birmingham’s B-Town scene (and somehow made the term ‘B-Town’ acceptable), the boys in Peace are on the verge of something big. You can feel it. Between the tie-dye clothing, the glitter cannons, the fact they’re incapable of writing a bad song, and the banter (singer Harrison Koisser shortens pretty much every other word – ‘emosh’ = emotional, ‘ug’ = ugly – as though his speech is limited to 140 characters), the band have cultivated a world to buy into. In Peaceland life is meant to be fun, and all that matters is love, partying and finding the perfect fur coat. It’s joyously escapist.
With their forthcoming debut album still a few months away from landing, tonight’s set is pretty much the same one they’ve been touring for the last few months. Oldies ‘Follow Baby’ and ‘Lil’ Echo’ still grind along on the gloriously sleazy and grungy end of the band’s spectrum, while regular set-opener (and recent single) ‘Wraith’ kicks even harder now a portion of the crowd know the words. Last year’s ‘Delicious’ EP is played in full, and the triple-header of ‘California Daze’, with its heart-on-sleeve indie anthemics, the 10-minute cover of Binary Finary’s ‘1998’ and the giddy closer of ‘Bloodshake’ emphasise how much ground the band cover.
Cyndi Lauper classic ‘True Colors’ gets wheeled out for an amusingly ridiculous few bars, but it’s the newie they sneak in that’s the real highlight. “This is one from our album,” announces Koisser before launching into ‘Toxic’, a track that deserves more excitement than his natural nonchalance gives it. Hitting the midway point between the bounce of ‘Bloodshake’ and the moonlit romance of ‘California Daze’, the song suggests the band’s hit factory is in full working order. No superstitions required here.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday