Digital, Newcastle

With their debut album In Love charting in the top 20 and having a place in BBC’s Sound Of 2013, this year has been quite a memorable one for indie-rock quartet Peace. The Birmingham boys are currently rounding it off with a UK headline tour, and Newcastle’s sold-out gig was something quite special.

Support came from grungy brothers Drenge whose angry, noisy sound prompted chaos in the crowd before it even hit 8pm. They have a dark vibe with thrashes of crashing drums and screaming distorted guitars. The set was thunderous and exciting – perhaps not quite the perfect act to prepare the crowd for Peace’s more mellow indie-pop but amazing nonetheless.

Peace opened their set with an album track, ‘Waste of Paint’, triggering hundreds of screams from the generally young crowd. Packed with jangly riffs and funky bass-lines, it was a great opener and was followed swiftly by their uplifting single ‘Follow Baby’. With gorgeous harmonies and a delectably catchy chorus, this anthemic track had the whole room singing.

After a string of songs, including a drunkenly out-of-tune sing-along in their pretty ballad ‘Float Forever’ and yet another mosh-pit breaking out during the album’s opening track ‘Higher Than The Sun’, Peace left the stage to screams of applause.

The encore kicked back in with ‘California Daze’ – as singer Harrison stated, “one for the ladies” – teaming crystal clear guitar picking with cool, raw vocals. After a yell from the crowd and a quick on-stage discussion, Peace spontaneously launched into their recent cover of Last Christmas. A highlight of the night, it was an elevating, atmospheric and fitting performance – after all, it was the first of December.

Closing their set was one of the strongest tracks from In Love, Bloodshake. The unmistakable opening riff and vibrant chorus made for a fantastic end to an amazing set. Peace are one of those bands who sound just as polished live as they do on the record, and I can’t wait for my next chance to see them.

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