Live Review: Peace bring ‘Happy People’ to Australia

While in the country for the recent Groovin’ the Moo festival tour, UK outfit Peace headlined several high-energy sideshows. We were in Brisbane last Wednesday night to see how their new album, Happy People, translates to the stage.

More thematically cohesive than the band’s debut, but equally as volatile, Happy People is, foremost, a display of Peace’s inimitable style and ambition. So too, I’m pleased to report, was their live performance.

As they launched boldly into Money – the lead single from Happy People – it was immediately evident how the night would go. Frontman Harry Koisser is the living embodiment of a fur coat; he swaggers around stage with complete confidence, pausing his directionless saunter only to utter velvet tones into the microphone.

It is the mark of exceptional talent when a band can drift smoothly between searing riffs, delicate harmonies and delightful, finger-snapping pop hooks. Peace did just that; from Follow Baby, California Daze and Lost on Me to I’m a Girl, Float Forever and Gen Strange, they delivered an hour of remarkable ebb and flow.

After a rather sudden halt to proceedings, the band returned for what I believe was an encore. Stretching out to over 15 minutes, however, it was more a closing paragraph than a final sentence. 1998 – a relic from Peace’s Delicious EP – is, admittedly, a ten-minute song. Live, however, that translates to a somewhat self-indulgent jam session of fuzzy, wailing guitar.

The ultimate song in Peace’s thoroughly impressive set was World Pleasure, a cut from Happy People that features a bass solo I can describe only as majestic. Just when the song seems to be fading out, in steps Sam Koisser (brother of Harry) to reawaken it, removing all doubt that Peace are one of the most genuinely talented and entertaining young bands to have come out of the UK in recent years.