Live review: Peace, Drenge at QMU, 30/11/13

Peace-006Bringing together two of the hottest bands in the country, almost a year on from the release of their successful debut albums, the Peace/Drenge tour is a bargain for those wanting to catch two British success stories while they’re still playing relatively small venues.

First up, the fearsome duo of Eoin and Rory Loveless take to the stage, just a couple of months on from a curiously static King Tut’s show they come alive in the QMU, reminding listeners of a young and pissed off Jesus and Mary Chain.

For Drenge, vocals take second place to gut-churning riffs as Rory wrenches screams and pops from his battered guitar.

‘Backwaters’ captures the small backwoods boredom of Castleton, their North Yorkshire hometown over screeching riffs reminiscent of early White Stripes.

There’s a sneaking suspicion that they’ve mastered volume but not texture but all that naysaying evaporates in the face of the duo’s riotous racket and there’s no doubt that ‘Bloodsports’ is one of the year’s most thrilling tunes.

Rocking up in a skin-tight sparkly shirt Peace frontman Harrison Koisser is every inch the rock star.

He doesn’t talk to the crowd much beyond thanking them for the best night of the tour so far but he’s got a certain stoned charm that endears him to an excitable audience.

Initially his group start a little unsurely but by the time they bust out a rocking ‘Higher than the Sun’ they’ve got the audience in the palm of their hand.

Beatles-y numbers like ‘Follow Baby’ trigger mass sing-alongs while ‘Lovesick’ is a guaranteed sunburst of Serotonin on a bleak Glaswegian evening.

Given that they’ve only released a single EP alongside this year’s excellent In Love album the setlist is easy to predict but one new song offers hints of a glam strut.

‘Sugarstone’ updates Oasis’ boisterous boasts for a post-millennial generation while an encore of ‘California Daze’ sends the crowd hazy and elated out into the night.

They may not be the most original band in Britain, but far from being just the product of blog buzz and hipster hype tonight marks Peace out as a band who are most definitely the real deal.

Words: Max Sefton


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