Stephen Tudor went to Central Station in Wrexham on Wednesday to see a band for our time….
When Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich having met Hitler in 1938 he brandished a piece of paper and declared “Peace for our time”.
Gullible old Nev was alas proven to be catastrophically wrong but perhaps not; maybe he was just 75 years too early.
Indie melodists Peace are spreading goodwill across the airwaves with a clutch of stellar tunes that deserve a wider audience. Thankfully the wider audience is catching on quick and, following their majestic debut LP In Love anticipation for their second album is building nicely with the band’s latest offering Money lavished already as the Hottest Single In The World by Radio 1.
It is this anticipation that charges Central Station tonight with an undercurrent of curiosity. Is this spry, roguish quartet the real deal? Can they go all the way? They’re certainly on the cusp of changing up from NME darlings to a wider consciousness and a couple of belting new additions to their arsenal in Money and World Pleasure – complete with a Resurrection-style jam-out and a baseline Entwistle would have given up the coke for – are very positive omens.
So it is that with greatness on the horizon brothers Harry and Sam Koisser, Doug Castle, and drummer Dom Boyce rock up to Wrexham as part of a mini tour, presumably to sharpen up for the summer of festivals that await them.
Singer Harry strolls nonchalantly onto the stage sporting a new garishly orange barnet looking as ever like the bastard offspring of Ride’s Mark Gardner and his cohorts blast into Follow Baby with the minimum of fuss to a throaty cheer from the crowd.
There is always something wonderfully and enthusiastically reciprocal in the response from a town like this whenever a band of a certain calibre deign to grace themselves. It’s an appreciation that they’ve looked beyond the big city treadmill.
Which is why after just a couple of numbers the floor is sticky, foreheads are sweated, and an impromptu moshpit has formed, impelling a clearly impressed singer to state that he wants to live in Wrexham. You don’t Harry. You’d look like an alien in Sayers on a Saturday afternoon.
After a typically rousing version of Higher Than The Sun, their album opener, things are slowed down with California Daze, a slice of sun-soaked beauty that marks them out as accomplished tunesmiths beyond their current genre. It is Mammas and Pappas as seen through Brummie eyes and it’s a song of utter wonderment.
Another cracking newbie Lost On Me is showcased before we’re treated to a heady drive through the best of In Love. The brilliant Toxic, Waste Of Paint, the Foals-esque Wraith, pop-tastic Lovesick, and my personal jewel Float Forever are rattled through, cranking up the excitement and highlighting the band’s astonishing amassment of ace songs in such a short existence.
With the crowd now in rapture the aforementioned World Pleasure drops more than a few jaws before the foursome from Worcester cleverly conclude matters with a fan’s favourite Bloodshake.
As we shuffle out into the night talk is of a band on the threshold, a band capable of anything. But that’s for the future to decide. Right now they’re a band – to quote Nev – for our time.
F*** war. Love music. Peace out.