O2 Academy, Bristol
It’s amazing what Peace have accomplished in the short space of two years. Even though they’ve only released two singles, they have acquired a name for themselves but seemed a little under enthusiastic when opening to an audience who were probably expecting some tie dyed, free spirits.
The band were recently nominated for BBC’s Sound of 2013, so when Bloodshake (their centrepiece track) was dropped and people barely noticed the change in song, it felt a lot like Peace’s seemingly natural talent was being wasted on the live platform. So after their short set had come to a close they walked off stage without a word, just a raised hand to soak up the light patter of applause.
What Peace had lacked in fever, Palma Violets quickly made up for. They started off by getting the audience to slowly raise their hands higher and higher in sync with the music, which sounds a lot like a feeble crowd-interaction ploy that you might find in a primary school assembly, but it was a theme throughout the whole set and it woke up some of the 40 year olds who were only there to prove to their office that they still live interesting lives. (It did admittedly create some pretty good instagrams).
It’s always refreshing to have another band member other than the singer/lead guitarist as the charismatic ‘frontman’. In PVs case it was the bassist/secondary vocalist, Chilli Jesson (real name) who took the role. He came across like the friend who would get drunk and sleep with your sister, but then you’d still remain friends with because he’s the only reason anyone hangs round with you. A failed stage dive added to the makeshift charm, and the more you heard the more you became convinced that they’re going to break.
The big surprise of the night definitely came out of four skinny blokes wearing matching patterned shirts. Some artists rely on the safety of a studio to perfect small details. Django Django were the opposite. They focused on minimalistic bass lines that came out of anything from a floor tom to a woodblock held against a microphone, then layered catchy, upbeat, electronica on top. It’s something that I can honestly say I’ve never heard before, and it’s that annoying cliché that your nan uses, but it’s the type of music you literally can’t not dance to, even those 40 year olds keeping their energy for bragging the next day were giving it a go.
Another welcome change was the loud, vivacious, Irish lead who was going for a more unorthodox approach, rather than the other acts perfectly placed cool. This mentality was amplified through their music. Shameless but incomparably tight. Worthy headliners but the surprise highlight were Palma Violets, a band who put on a show but the performance wasn’t hiding anything.
Words: Julian Caldwel