Peace @ Neighbourhood Festival Manchester Albert Hall
Festival season may be over everywhere else in the world, but that wasn’t the case in Manchester last Saturday. Neighbourhood Festival 2.0 was about to kick off with a bang, and with a quality line up of over 100 artists including the likes of The Amazons, Black Honey, Superfood, Jaws and many many more, it was hard to choose who to see. However, there was no doubt about it when it came to indie dreamboats Peace- that was a set I would not be missing.
Arriving outside Albert Hall to the ever growing queue, there was a slight doubt that we would even make it in. Yet as luck would have it, we had arrived just before the rush and soon enough we were amongst the masses of other excitable indie teens awaiting the arrival of Harry and Sam Koisser, Douglas Castle and Dom Boyce. Having not played Manchester since 2015 there was a buzz in the room regarding what songs would be played and if new material was on the cards.
As the opening bars of Lovesick rang out there was a surge as the crowd pushed forward and became a wave of people who were all moving and dancing. If your plan was to stick with your friends, you could forget about it, it was an impossibility after being sucked into the mother of all mosh pits.
For the next 4 songs everyone would continue to dance and push and sing along to those unforgettable lyrics of songs like Follow Baby and Lost On Me. It was only when Harry announced they were to play a new song called Mental Head that the room came to a complete still. Covered in sweat and tears, you could’ve heard a pin drop if it wasn’t for Harry’s raw and emotional vocals echoing throughout the room. Slower than their usual upbeat tunes, Mental Head came as a breath of fresh air and is one similar to that of Someday from the bands sophomore album. The band’s other new track Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll followed this theme also, suggesting that Peace’s next record might have a different vibe than their earlier releases.
Stand out moments for me at a Peace gig always include California Daze and Float Forever, partly due to the fact that these are the moments of the gig where you can actually breathe. Where you can take in the atmosphere of the room, see people getting on each other’s shoulders, and sway without the fear of being catapulted into a group of people. There’s definitely something magical about a Peace gig and being in a room where everyone has a shared love for the same band. This is something that stand outs the most during their cover of Binary Finary’s 1998 (Delicious)- the finale to Peace’s Delicious EP from 2012. As the song begins to merge into the baseline of Bloodshake it honestly feels as if there is nothing better in the world than being covered in sweat in an unbreathable mosh pit.
For the whole hour or so that Peace were on stage there wasn’t a dull moment. It felt like a religious experience to have one of my all time favourite live bands back in my life. In the words of Harry Koisser ‘We are Peace and we’re back from the dead’ and to be honest I’ve never been happier.