Peace on earth? No, at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire…

No album review this month but we'll have our musical Christmas present recommendations next weekend, quickly followed by the much awaited Spend Matters Top 30 Albums of the year - counting down from December 20th to the 23rd!

But in the absence of many interesting new albums, just a quick review today of Peace in concert last night at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in West London. (Just the two of us - I bought the tickets as a Birthday present for my wife, hence why we didn't extend the invite more widely)!

And what an excellent young band. Their debut album will feature strongly in our top 30, not giving too much away, but live was if anything even better. What is remarkable is how already they have both a distinguishable Peace sound combined with a really wide variation in their songs. They range through tender ballads (the somewhat Beatles or Oasis-like Float Forever, for instance ) to Foals / Maccabees type indie-dance tracks, plus some real rockers.

There's something identifiably 'British' about them too - and without getting too carried away, you can hear the ancestral influences of the Beatles, Stones, Stone Roses, Oasis, Blur...  that combination of tunes, wit, camp and energy that our best bands pull off so well.

A mention too for the best young drummer I've seen in a while, Dominc Boyce, who reminded me a little of Dave Grohl driving Them Crooked Vultures at Reading a couple of years back. He both anchors and propels the band brilliantly, and sings a mean falsetto backing vocal too. But all four are clearly excellent musicians, and Harrison Koisser is a very good frontman, charismatic without being too pretentious. Compliments also to the technical crew - some of the best and clearest sound I've experienced at a gig for ages.

I'd seen them as a student type band, and expected a 18-30 year old audience. But no, this was West London's Year 11 Christmas Party - and a very 50:50 boy / girl ratio. Apart for the odd parent accompanying  slightly younger kids, (and us) everyone looked 16! The bar did very poor business...

Now that all bodes well for Peace too - there's a core audience who can grow with them for some years to come if they play it right. We guessed that for many of these kids, this was their first real gig - they were very sweet, and went moderately wild even for the not very well known (but pretty good) support bands Troumaca and Is Tropical. A few kids invaded the stage towards the end - we saw one of the young lads outside after the event, telling all his mates about it. Clearly something he is going to be boasting about to his  own kids , in 30 years time when they go off to their first gig and he's a Tax Audit Partner at PWC..!

Anyway, look out for Peace both on record and live if you get the chance. And headlining Reading or Glastonbury around 2017...

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