Indie rock quartet Peace are now well into their ‘J’adore Tour’ which coincides with the release of their second album, Happy People, on the 9th February. It comes two years after the release their debut album ‘In Love’ in 2013. The tour includes shows in Holland, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. And less than a month after the tour is brought to a close in Brighton at the end of March, the foursome are set to play live in Japan and Australia. Despite, the tour including several European visits and extra dates for some British venues, they’re all small venues. Huw Stephens spoke, on his Radio 1 show the week before the tour began, about how crazy it was for band like Peace who are big enough to play large venues to do an entire tour of venues which hold no more than a couple of hundred people.
The Birmingham band kick-started the J’adore tour on the 15th January with an epic show at Liverpool’s Kazimier- an intimate venue hidden away at the edge of the city’s Bold Street area, packed full of venues, bars and clubs. Tickets for the show sold out within 24 hours, prompting the band to add an extra date on 16th, which also sold out. Fans queued the length of Wolstenholme Square in the bitter cold way before the doors opened at 7:30. When they did, the sell-out crowd quickly filled both levels of the venue. You could tell how excited the crowd were to witness Peace play such a small and intimate venue, especially on the opening night of a 3 month long European tour.
Around 8:30, support act, The Vryll Society took to the stage to open the show. Their short set of psych-rock songs received a warm reception from their hometown. The scouse four-piece almost disappeared into a cloud of smoke which engulfed the entire stage several times throughout their set. The Vryll Society’s energetic performance clearly got the Liverpool crowd hyped up for the main event of the night.
Keeping tradition strong, Peace arrived fashionably late, bursting onto stage at about quarter to 10, led by frontman Harrison Koisser holding a life-size mannequin dressed in his own clothes. He proudly stood it up it on a ledge at the back of the stage. and ran down to join his bandmates. Opening on a fan favourite, Peace’s first ever release, Bloodshake, they got the crowd going straight away. It seamlessly blended into a track from their debut album In Love, Higher Than The Sun, and the crowd were still going wild.
They then took a break to let the crowd get their breath back. Harrison asked the heaving Kazimier if they were alright for the third time, and went on to say “I worry you see”. The break didn’t last long however, and they hit the crowd with the very loud Follow Baby.
Liverpool was treated to 4 live debuts of songs from the coming album, Happy People. 3 of them- O You, Perfect Skin and Someday- were previously unheard. They all sounded great and the crowd seemed to love them straight away. The fourth, I’m A Girl received it’s first play the week before on Radio 1, receiving heaps of praise from DJs Huw Stephens and Fearn Cotton. After that, Peace uploaded a 12 minute long ‘interactive lyric video’ to their Youtube channel which immediately started racking up the views. So, the big Peace fans in the crowd would have heard this new track.
Half way through Peace’s set, Harrison dropped his guitar, grabbed the mannequin and shared an intimate but not so private moment with it. It would come as a massive surprise if a crowd has ever cheered a man snogging and grinding on a plastic mannequin louder.
A couple of days before the show, frontman Harrison had tweeted from the band’s official account, asking fans to tweet them requests. If you scrolled down the replies, 9 out of 10 requests were for 1998- an interesting cover of Binary Finary’s trance classic, from their 2012 EP Delicious. Peace didn’t disappoint, Harrison’s announcement of the name of the next song being met by screams. Throughout the 10 minute long track, there were numerous attempts at crowd surfing, some more successful than others.
Peace also pleased the Kazimier with two other old fan favourites, stripped back ballads Float Forever and California Daze. Harrison’s smooth vocals had girls up on their boyfriends’ shoulders and boys swaying, holding their beer in the air.
Peace brought the opening night of the tour to a close with a song worthy do it. It was World Pleasure, the last track on the album as well as the last track of the night. Peace recently told NME Magazine that they spent almost all of their budget they had been given to make the Happy People album on this one song. “We blew nearly all our budget on this song, which we recorded in two parts” Harrison told NME. “We got carried away – strings and everything. I can’t really remember what kind of state of mind I was in when I wrote it, but I like the way it came out”. And the crowd certainly seemed to like the way it came out, with it encouraging a lot of crowd surfing and even a stage invasion.
One girl clambered up onto the stage and stood there dancing along to Samuel Koisser’s bass solo and was eventually joined by more very enthusiastic fans. Amongst the chaos on stage, someone had thrown a handful of gold glitter over Harrison’s hand and guitar. couple of security guards dashed onto the stage to clear people off and accidentally knocking a girl over, who brought Harrison’s mic stand down with her and left the song without its last chorus.
After the show, people left the venue, slowly revealing a sticky floor covered with empty bottles, crushed plastic cups and glitter. By 11, Wolstenholme Square (and a nearby Tesco Express) was full of sweaty and exhausted but very happy Peace fans. And as they headed home with aching legs and ringing ears, Peace looked on to playing another sold-out Kazimier the next day.