Peace, Koko, London
Nick Hasted has been a film journalist since 1986. He writes about film, music, books and comics for The Independent, Sight & Sound, Uncut and Little White Lies. He has published two books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), and You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), both from Omnibus Press.
Tuesday 01 January 2013
“I hope you have the best New Year…I mean, you know, 2013…whatever,” are the words with which Peace singer Harrison Koisser sends us out into the brave new dawn of another year.
It’s hardly a call to the barricades. Maybe it’s nerves, but Koisser has nothing worth saying to a packed New Year’s Eve crowd at the north London home of Club NME and promising new indie music. Showmanship is confined to his glittering green, mirror-flecked jacket, a suit of lights undercut by white trainers and his bandmates’ T-shirts. He has the lips and curtain of hair of a young Richard Ashcroft, but none of the Verve singer’s gobby desire for transcendence.
Peace are one of the nominations in the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll, an increasingly irritating marketing ploy shepherding media coverage towards mostly major-label backed new acts (Peace’s Delicious EP is on Columbia). They more often recall the sound of 1992, but that isn’t always a bad thing. “Is anybody in love?” Koisser asks at his most coherent. “You should be.” The EP’s best track, “California Daze” starts with languid, summery strokes of guitars, crests with decent harmonies, and grinds gently to a halt. The “pretty girls in town” Koisser cheers himself up by watching in its verses are likely from the band’s Birmingham home, not a West Coast idyll. It’s the sort of well-crafted, bittersweet single early 1990s bands Buffalo Tom and Teenage Fanclub specialised in. “Follow Baby”’s Nirvana riffs give a heavier nod to the part of the past they’re raiding most.
“Our New Year’s resolution is more drugs” goes another Koisser bon mot, and their songs are mostly poppy neo-psychedelia. “1998”, a cover of a much-revived hit by 1990s British trance act Binary Finary, has drummer Dom Boyce bouncing sticks off his kit as he hammers a four-to-the-floor beat. As its long, slow, bucking instrumental break continues, a male fan unwisely stands on shoulders to dance. As the song subsides, Koisser is crouched fiddling with effects pedals, while his bassist brother Sam literally shoegazes. That’s the unloved 1990s genre Peace, like last year’s hype Toy, draw deepest from. They raise themselves for “Bloodshake”’s big finish just after 1 am, a last chance to mosh. Boyce grins unaffectedly at the crowd’s response, as the curtain falls. This year, we’ll see if Peace deserve their chance.
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Tidal CEO leaves Jay Z's music streaming service only a month after it launched
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens: Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill admits he was suspicious of 'Star Trek guy' JJ Abrams
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate