“This is my favourite fucking festival in the world,” says Harrison Koisser of Peace just a couple of songs into their Reading 2015 set. And it’s not hard to see why. This is a festival that embraces everything if it’s loud, barmy and capable of jumping out of its comfort zone - and that’s Peace’s new material in a nutshell.
Second LP ‘Happy People’ wasn’t an immediate smash-hit. It cemented the Birmingham group as a band with oddities up their sleeve, strange habits that might have been hidden int he hype of debut ‘In Love’. Since its release, songs have gone from introverted creatures to giants, none more so than the headrush of ‘I’m a Girl’. If Peter Crouch was front row, he’d have been having the time of his life for the shimmering ‘Lost On Me’, too.
Something else has happened between albums. Peace always bring an amped-up mentality to the stage, but shows tend to be unhinged, better if they’re in a small room. All of a sudden, these four look like some of the most tightly-knit musicians around. They’re slick, but not in the sense that they’ve hit some creative wall and hit the ‘default mode’ button. ‘Bloodshake’ is fiercer than before, and even though Koisser’s still a sucker for gigantic coats, he doesn’t look like a stranger on stage - Peace are a proper unit now.
Photos: Sarah-Louise Bennett