Peace offer up a five-star evening of rock star swagger in London

A night that's celebratory, emotional and an undeniable statement of their feverish ambition.
Photo credit: Patrick Gunning

Some bands are simply essential. Magic has flowed through Peace’s veins from the beginning; each step they’ve taken has been an expectation-defying jump into the new and exciting. Boring simply doesn’t apply in the mind of Harrison Koisser, and it’s what makes their return in 2023 all the more vital.

Now a two-piece and with the sort of wall of technological equipment on-stage that would have NASA stumped, it’s a surround-sound takeover that pushes everything Peace is to new levels at London’s Colour Factory tonight. A warehouse-styled venue more akin to club nights and sweaty DJs, Peace in 2023 run with that and more for a celebratory, emotional night that’s an undeniable statement of their feverish ambition.

One of their first shows in nearly four years (after storming performances in Bristol and Birmingham earlier in the week), any doubts about how a new live set-up featuring just Harry and Sam Koisser will work are thrown away from the very first note. An opening rush of ‘Follow Baby’, ‘Lost On Me’ and ‘Money’ stamp their marker down for a set that pulls at every corner of the technicolour playground they’ve invited everyone into from the very beginning. It perfectly encapsulates that dance-infused spirit that always was there with Peace and leaves the stacked crowd in Colour Factory firmly in their hands.

An extended and spiralling ‘1998’ nails this front and centre – a beloved fan-favourite triggers mosh-pits, sweaty bodies and overflowing scenes, complete with a stadium-epic guitar solo that grabs and refuses to let go, before ‘Bloodshake’ whips another frenzy.

It’s a sharp set that revels in simply being there, led by a frontman who oozes rock star heights with each move. The biggest party in town, whose spirit comes from the flat parties and tiny spaces where Peace first made their name, but dialled up with even more ambition and a history of devotion in their back pocket.

What makes this all even more triumphant is the manner of their return. New album ‘Utopia’ is both “out” and “not out” – directly given to fans who bought tickets to this three-date tour – and starts the next era of Peace by being as against-the-grain as possible. That rebellious nature covers the set, and with the swinging pop of ‘Darkness On The Dancefloor’, the cinematic campfire-meets-summer vibes of ‘Happy Cars’, the mourning lovesick ode of ‘Polly With The Perfect Hair’ and the pumping ‘Good Jeans’ effortless slotting into a greatest hits night – the openers of ‘Utopia’ makes their next chapter even more unmissable.

It’s a night full of special moments, cathartic for both the band and crowd. While ‘Float Forever’, ‘From Under Liquid Glass’ and ‘California Daze’ see tears and smiles in equal measure, an erupting ‘Wraith’ and ‘Lovesick’ are met with pogoing masses that revel in every second.

As the baseline of ‘World Pleasure’ brings a blistering set to a close, Peace leave no doubt about where their ambition lies with a five-star evening of rock star swagger. Going against the status quo, revelling in the fun of it all, tearing apart any “standard rules” and throwing them up into the air to use as confetti – it’s grandstand ambition from a band who capture those universal moments of joy, fun and life. There’s nobody quite like them. Thank God that Peace are back.