Birmingham’s most exciting new band PEACE kick off their first UK tour this weekend, including a hometown show at The Rainbow tomorrow (Saturday). With a record deal in the bag and a debut single on its way, it’s exciting times ahead for the hotly-tipped four-piece. Amy Sumner caught up with them to talk hype, the Birmingham scene and dreams of Miami.
The internet is such a forum that the mere touch of a button can provoke outrage, amore and an assortment of powerful feeling. And the uploading of a track can trigger a frenzy. It happened to Arctic Monkeys; it happened to Gnarls Barkley; and now it’s happening to Peace, to exactly the same extent. Well, nearly. Previously with just one demo available to listen to online [Bblood], the Birmingham four-piece had been one of the city’s best kept secrets for quite some time, treating us to live performances along the way of songs that you could not hear nigh on anywhere else. Now, with an ever increasing viral furore surrounding them, praise in national music mags and the growing attention of industry bigwigs, they head off on a full set of UK tour dates this month. Peace look set to take reality by storm.
“The Bblood demo — we made it into a video as a way of sending it to people, and it was never intentionally going to be released,” explains lead singer Harry of their internet success. ”We put it out in April last year and it was floating around the internet for ages. Then at the end of the year, people started raving about it.”
But with just a couple of songs to sample, can anyone really say they know what Peace sound like yet? “I think that our songs are quite similar to Primal Scream,” guitarist Doug offers. “Not in the sense that they’re indie-dance crossover or anything like that, but you can definitely hear the acid house influence in them.”
“I’d describe it as grooving, dark, citrus shake — it’s strong but tender,” adds Harry, not altogether sincerely. “My writing is kind of eclectic though. Sometimes I’m very to the point and there’s a lot of life experience in it. But at other times it’s escapism. And sometimes the two can crossover — like Bblood which is both escapist and straight forward. In terms of influences upon us as a band though, we’re fairly similar…”
“Though we have some guilty pleasures,” interjects bassist Sam. Insert Spice Girls banter here. “We’re all definitely on the same page though,” he concludes.
“There’s a shared appreciation of Led Zeppelin for instance,” name-checks drummer Dom. “We’re all massive Zep fans, though we’re not classic rock nerds. I like The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, things like that. But there’s no direct intention behind these — it isn’t a case of ‘I like these bands so I’m going to sound like them.’ I think the bands you listen to invariably change the way that you play though.”
“I like techno, house, electronic — that sort of stuff as opposed to stuff with words in it,” continues Harry. “And The Rainbow is a paradise for that — it’s our favourite place to play and party because it’s all about the stuff that we like.”
“I guess we are part of a specific Birmingham movement,” concedes Doug, “but that isn’t necessarily a calculated decision. This isn’t a movement of bands grouped together because they sound the same, because everyone is coming from a different place.”
“It’s more a case of us all starting bands at the same time, and all helping each other out,”
agrees Harry. “For example, Troumaca put on the nights at The Adam & Eve and a lot of these bands have played those, because we’re all friends.”
“I think what makes it interesting though, is even though we’re all part of this scene, you can’t pair bands together as sounding alike, because none of us do. It’s just a shared vibe that runs through us,” concludes Sam.
For a year or so now Peace have been biding their time, playing locally and at select shows in London. But now they’re ready to explode.
“We’re buzzing about all of the upcoming dates on the tour,” enthuses Harry, “it’ll be really good to headline.”
“Yeah, until now we’ve only really been accidental headliners, when other bands have dropped out,” bemoans Dom. “And it’ll be our first headline show at The Rainbow too which is pretty exciting, we love it here!”
And after that?
“After the tour there will be an EP,” reveals Doug. “Yes, we’ve written a lot of material,” Harry explains.
“I mean, we’ve not consciously gone at it to write tracks,” interjects Sam, “but there will be a single out in early April called Follow Baby. It’s going to be our first physical release and it’ll be on 7ins, but we’ll put it up online.”
It seems as though, occasional darlings of London and long term lovers of Birmingham, Peace are now ready to take on the rest of the country. And with the seal of approval of countless music mags and blogs stamped all over Bblood and now Follow Baby and a cult-like internet attention from their public, it seems it’ll only take a run of successful shows to cement it. And if all goes to plan?
“This time next year I’ll be in Miami,” answers Sam, quick as a flash.
“I’ll be here at The Rainbow,” retorts Harry, matter of fact. “It’s FACE tonight.”
“Nah, I’d take Miami,” Doug admits. Miami it is then. World — watch out.
Listen to forthcoming single Follow Baby here.
Peace March tour dates in full:
March 9 – Crewe – The Box
March 10 – Birmingham – The Rainbow
March 13 – Brighton – The Haunt
March 14 – Bristol Start The Bus
March 15 – Cardiff 10 Feet Tall
March 16 – Bath Confession @ Moles
March 17 – London The Old Blue Last
March 19 – Coventry Kasbah
March 21 – Leeds Nation Of Shopkeepers
March 22 – Portsmouth The Registry
March 23 – Bournemouth Sixty Million Postcards
March 24 – Southampton Unit
March 25 – Milton Keynes The Craufurd Arms
March 26 – Liverpool Bumper
March 27 – Manchester Castle
March 28 – Glasgow Sleazy’s
March 29 – Dundee Doghouse
March 30 – Preston Mad Ferret
March 31 – Luton Edge