Leeds Met student’s union holds a lot of nostalgia for me. Every Friday night as a young 18 year old I would end up at STAR, throwing helicopter arms, knocking back apple sourz, smoking rollies in the stairwell and crying in the toilets. So as me and a friend wade through the token sea of teenagers to see Peace, the nostalgia is playing a big part. We rock up to the bar, get id’d (twice), down some sourz for old times sake and head in to catch the support band, Drenge.
The young crowd appear to love the grunge stylings of the siblings from Derby, there’s even quite a big mosh pit gurgling in the centre of the crowd. Their set list is loud and guitar heavy, it’s easy to see why they appeal to the sixth form masses; songs like ‘Dogmeat’ and ‘Bloodsports’ fuel a burning fire in their audience.
It’s the kind of music your parents would hate, drawn out dirges from lead singer and guitarist Eoin Loveless rattle in the air and the distortion on the guitars plays out just long enough to make you feel uncomfortable. Mid set they play ‘Fuckabout’, a slow dancer that in days gone by would have a sea of lighters swaying along to it. We take an early exit to refuel for Peace, whilst Drenge play out to much appreciation from the crowd.
When Peace enter the room the atmosphere changes, we are all excited. The kids are running around trying to get up close, the rabble in the pit start to jump and fall about, the more reserved audience members (ourselves included) stand calmly by the sides. Despite outwards appearances we are really looking forwards to this gig. Earlier on this year we tried to catch Peace at Live at Leeds, we failed miserably after standing in a queue for 2 hours, only to reach the front and be told that no-one else is getting in. So tonight is redemption!
Opening with ‘Follow Baby’ Peace sound brilliant, there’s a high energy from the band and they’re feeding off an equally high vibe from the crowd. The euphoric guitar riffs echo through the room and spread a wave of elation. ‘Wraith’, ‘Higher Than The Sun’ and ‘Toxic’ all continue to inspire scenes of joy through the crowd. There are partners on shoulders, people crowd surfing and bodies moving it feels like a ‘do you remember that time…’ kind of moment.
There is a very vibrant presence from the band; lead singer Harry Koisser belts out the britpop inspired tunes in earnest, and the crowd adore him for it. When they play ‘California Daze’ a gentle and heartfelt warmness gathers in the room which I’m sure is generated from more than just hormones and sweaty bodies of pulsating adolescence.
They save ‘Bloodshake’ for their greatly appreciated encore, and we all go mad for it. It’s the perfect goodbye to one of the happiest gigs I’ve ever been to. I don’t know if Peace can follow up their ‘In Love’ album with anything better, but if they never do I will be content with always having this memory, when for a few hours everything seemed right with the world and there’s nothing we couldn’t do with our futures. Or maybe that was just the sourz talking.