Peace: Love At Start The Bus, Bristol.

Who needs war when you can have Peace? Birmingham’s tie-dyed indie tripsters bring their colour and verve to Bristols flourishing and lusting students in search of a fresh demographic to spread the word of Peace.

Being dubbed as the ‘new Maccabees’ by the NME is a daunting prospect considering the praise and accolade the Brightoners are receiving following their chart storming new found sound and complexity. With festival stage headline slots burning on the horizon, success is has finally constructed itself around The Maccabees after six years of playing together. Edging your vision just past the horizon, you’ll see the so called mimics of Brighton’s finest in midland four piece Peace, whom entertained Bristols striving student community last night (14th March 2012) at Start The Bus, as they continued on their nineteen date March tour.

In a small stretch of onyx-painted brick and pavement slab in the middle of Bristol city centre lies the energetic band and DJ bar Start The Bus, the mecca for student binge drinking and weekend away from halls. Around the glossed pine bar and past the circular, vessel styled windows lies minute, triangular performance area, tucked away neatly in front of the dance area. Here, Peace graced Bristols finest to the inundated watermarked sound of deep bass guitar, luxuriant reverb and snappy dance beats. Armed with leather jackets and tripped colour blends, the midlanders waited in the side lines for sound checks and fans to arrive.

As pint glasses were refilled and countless sound checks were equalised and repeated, the atmosphere remained that of an every day contemporary bar. The vague scent of smokey fabric, sticky table tops and low mood lighting maintained the semitropical, yet bromidic surrounding for some time. As support act number one stepped behind the monitors and switched on the amplifiers, the day dreaming ceased as post-rock locals The Portillo Moment enraged and whined their nostalgic, summery songs onto mostly deaf ears. Happily, for those who were listening, The Portillo Moment formed warm guitar sounds over crashing drums times in a Best Coast-esque thirty minutes. Despite a preparation of ignorance at the venue, which was not yet reaching a sizable capacity, The Portilla Moment were well received and enjoyed by those whose interest was caught.

Following another timely delay due to sound checks and staff cigarette breaks, the second group to entertain the unsettling crowd were Bath’s Blood Choir, who seemed as uninterested as the crowd as it became apparent that the timings were far from on schedule. Balancing a generic sounding acoustic/electric blend and banging on a drum kit that sounded that it wasn’t sufficiently sound checked swam streamline with a less than inspiring performance from Blood Choir. Exiting the stage as quietly as they stood upon it, Blood Choirs dismissal from the crowd quickly turned back to the nights promising prospect. Sat parallel to the stage, Peace’s moment finally came upon then an hour later than intended.

As the student cliental steadily piled into the enduring performance floor, expectations has lapsed from my previous hopes, and from those around me too. Having said that, the turnout for such a small venue was a pleasing one in the perspective of the band. Roughly fifty people had shuffled forward from the bar to either the dance floor or overlooking from the steps. All the little frustrations seem to be discounted from the moment Harrison, Sam, Dom and Douglas took to the stage, and faced the anticipating crowd.

Matching the dark style of the Horrors and the jittery, dance rhythms of The Happy Mondays and The Charlatans, new single “Follow Baby” electrified and sent shock waves of biting bass lines and heterogeneous harmonies that finally gave the crowd something to dance to. With an enticed crowd, Peace continued to pay homage to the nostalgia of a dark-waved revamp of Manchester bands and 1980’s club music through out “Follow Baby”, before leading into the rest of their set.

Chorusing jungle beats and the delayed echoey math-rock sounds of Foals and Dutch Uncles, Peace captivated and put a trippy edge onto the indie assumption to the crowd, whilst sporting tight black jeans, scraped back hair, studded earrings and the typical tie-dye persona caught the imagination of the respective crowd. Flushing more reverb from the crevasses of their amplifiers and pushing their hands through their hair, Peace manifested their indie capability to hinge and anchor their sound to the crowds cosmic mood, gaining a more than satisfactory appreciation.

As their encouraging and poignant set came to a close, the crowd’s fatigue from the unexpectedly late performance contained itself and was overwhelmed by Peaces’ effortless nature and cool. Playing their final song, “BBLOOD”, was rendered in the trippiest of fashions. Strong, British vocals reverberated over jungle beats and dance/indie guitar lines and the pulsating fuzz of bass guitar, followed by the angry conflicting crashes of the cymbals. As the pizzicato rage of the delayed guitar collapsed under a blast of feedback, Peace retreated to the bar after a glorified set at Start The Bus, Bristol.

They may be a band hiding under the persona of ‘Peace’ and harmony, much like they’re musical discourse, but their underlining performance hold many more pragmatics than first meets the eye. There is a true acidic passion for music and a real inspiration behind the tripster image of Peace, and you need to see it to believe it. Although they may have only played to small gathering of people, they dart in the right direction and bring nothing but good.

If they play more gigs like they did at Start The Bus, soon NME will be comparing other bands as being the ‘new Peace’.


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