Review: Peace at the Arts Centre

Peace - Band Members

Peace – Band Members

AS 7.30pm STRUCK, Aberystwyth Arts Centre was pretty empty. Doors had just opened for tonight’s band, the Worchester based Peace. Unlike your regular gig venue, there was no queue are the door and through the cafe, there wasn’t even that much of a burly security guard on the door. For an Indie concert, it was all very peculiar. Inside the darkened Arts Centre, the crowd was a mixture of leftover university students, sixth form students, some parents who had been dragged along, and a smattering of hipsters; who mingled around the stage, or sat on the provided tables.

Come 8pm, the opening acts began. We’re No Heroes began proceedings, and as soon as the music began, a crowd suddenly appeared. The band fit into this new wave of Math and Indie rock, popularised by the likes of ‘Foals’ and ‘Peace’. Their music was enjoyable enough, if not liable to be swallowed up by the vast number of bands their genre. They were shortly followed by the completely different second act. Yaks incorporated a Punk attitude with what sounded like an early Noughties garage rock influence with the likes of Wolfmother and Led Zeppelin. They didn’t give a crap how full the room was and played loud, gritty rock, a great warm up for ‘Peace’. What was interesting was how the crowd dispersed after every set, and then grew once the music started again. This lead to slight confusion when Peace were due to start, not by the fault of the crowd, but of how the Arts Centre operates as a gig venue.

When Peace did come on, the crowd did itself justice for the size they were. Enthusiastic jumping, dancing and head bobbing was to be seen, despite the fact only half the hall was filled. Peace themselves sounded fantastic. Their sound was true to their record, and filled the centre excellently. The bands demeanour was what you’d expect; rather subdued Indie, keeping their heads down or staring above the crowd. Front man Harry Koisser is the most enthusiastic member of the band. Dressed like an early nineties Thom Yorke, he shreds his guitar with the feel of a relatively new band. This is by no means a bad thing; they sound fresh, despite the fact their debut came out over a year ago. It could even be said the fact they are continuing to tour this album makes them sound even better. They bang out their classics such as ‘Toxic’ and ‘California Daze’ to ecstatic response from the crowd. Their between song banter leaves much to be desired, but to a crowd that small, cracking on with the set would seem the more preferable thing to do. 

Not only do their old songs sound great, but so does their newer material.  ‘Lost on Me’ has a very beach-poppy feel, while ‘World Pleasure’, the penultimate track of the set, has an incredibly powerful bass solo. Both sound great, and tease a new album that will no doubt be around in the coming months. If their new tracks sound as good as their older material, the listener is in for a treat. There was really only one downside to the concert. The sound was great, the audience (for its size) for enthusiastic, it’s just a shame the band didn’t do an encore. The crowd was left asking for more, and Peace hadn’t even performed ‘Delicious’, one of their best known numbers. It was a short set, so the lack of an encore came as a surprise. Having looked at their other set lists, it would appear that they haven’t performed any encores. The lack of an encore and the incorporation of new material lead the fans begging for more. Could this mean the band may one day return and grace the Arts Centre once more? If they do, let us hope they come slightly earlier in the year, if they had come during term time, the crowd in the hall could quite easily have been threefold.