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Live Review: Peace @ Birthdays, Dalston

To wrap up their UK tour, Birmingham alt-rock revivalists Peace recently undertook a four-day residency at Dalston’s Birthdays; day two of which featured London’s very own O. Children supporting. Having sold out all four dates very quickly, during the afternoon on the day of the gig – around a few hours before the doors opened – there were suddenly ten extra tickets up for sale online, which explains why the venue was completely packed.

O. Children’s seven-track set opened the evening very nicely, indeed. First track ‘Swim’ was a powerful start, which, then followed by the infectious riffing of ‘Dead Disco Dancer’ – a tune culled from the band’s self-titled debut album – made for a lethal one-two opening to proceedings. A great surprise came right in the middle of the set, in the form of a new song getting its first public outing. It went something like “…cherry pie…” (to my foreign ears, at the very least), but, whatever the lyrics, it was lovely and a promising sign of things to come. Wrapping up with ‘Lily’s Man‘, a fun track with plenty of energy both on and off stage, set the tone nicely for the night’s main attraction: those four scruffy, Brummy boys.

Peace took to the stage with ‘Delicious’ and certainly didn’t let the crowd down. It was followed by their hit single ‘Follow Baby’, which quickly warmed up the room despite being only the second song in. The action grew so intense at one point that a girl actually fainted twice during the set – either that or she was just one hell of a hysterical fan. The night was rounded out with a treat to fans who had been around for the band’s 2012 EP Delicious, as three-quarters of the EP was played live – EP closer ‘1998’ was up firstly, followed shortly thereafter by a sing-along to the penultimate ‘California Daze’. The softer ending of which provided a brief respite for the crowd to prepare themselves for the more outrightly danceable ‘Bloodshake’. During the elongated instrumental breaks of the latter, one particularly daring audience member went as far as crowd surfing – I know, in this day and age. It was a great choice to end the band’s biggest UK tour to date with one of the first songs they ever released.

- Coco Wong

Peace’s debut album ‘In Love’ is available now on Columbia.

Photo credit: Jonnie Craig

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