2013 may be less than a decade ago, but it might as well be a lifetime. The interim years have battered the world from every conceivable angle, forcing us to dodge the threat of constant bad guys and a deadly plague like a particularly unenjoyable arcade game. It’s no wonder, then, that the alternative soundtrack of the last few years has been one categorised by punk vitriol and rumbling anxiety - the spoken word tirades and angular guitar jabs of recent times a sonic translation of a society collectively tearing its hair out in despair.
2013, however, was different. A comparably halcyon era pre-Brexit, pre-Trump, pre-Covid and pre-basically everything else, it was a more innocent time when four twenty-somethings from Birmingham with a predilection for ludicrous fur coats and Oasis could swagger in and give the indie world a humorous, twinkle-eyed kick up the backside.
From the opening fuzzy riff of debut single ‘Follow Baby’, Peace - helmed by brilliantly ridiculous frontman Harrison Koisser - set out their stall as the band that always looked like they were having the most fun. Whether pumping out unashamedly massive bangers indebted to Britpop and classic indie (everything from The Cure to The Charlatans got a not-so-subtle nod), peppering their live shows and interviews with snort-out-loud one-liners or generally giving off the hedonistic aura of life as one big party, the quartet were a technicolour breath of fresh air and debut LP ‘In Love’ their manifesto.
Released: 25th March, 2013
Key tracks: ‘Follow Baby’, ‘California Daze’, ‘Wraith’
Tell your mates: When Peace signed their record deal, one of their requests (which was granted) was a billboard in their hometown reading ‘What the fuck, Birmingham’.
If calling themselves Peace wasn’t enough to show that the band dealt in big, overblown sentiment, then ‘In Love’ hammered the point home. Full of heart-on-sleeve tales of romance and lust, their debut ran the gamut of love’s spectrum - falling head over heels on ‘Lovesick’, trying to forget a former flame on ‘Toxic’ and getting hot under the collar on ‘Waste of Paint’. Musically meanwhile, the band band may have been tailor made for sweaty festival sets, but throughout ‘In Love’ lay anthemic hooks for days, strung together with ‘90s baggy wig outs and cheeky unexpected highlights: let’s not forget, after all, that for their first year in the public eye, Peace’s crowning live set moment was the ten-minute slow build of ‘1998 (Delicious)’.
Along for the giddy ride of their first moments in the sun came a host of other Birmingham scene OGs - Swim Deep and Superfood amongst them. Before long, the newly-christened ‘B-Town’ was churning out bands faster than you can say ‘high speed train to Euston’. As for Peace? Following two more albums and more lolz than we’d dare to count, they seem to have quietly called it a day. For a glorious time however, the love was mutual.
More like this
The profits will be shared between Music Venue Trust and musically-aligned, BAME supporting mental health outfits via L;FE.
An Easter bank holiday knees up, live from your living room.
We talk to Harry Koisser, Lynn Gunn and Lauren Mayberry ahead of this weekend’s festival!
Peace, Pulled Apart by Horses, Dirty Hit, Live at Leeds and lots more to speak at DIY’s Do It Yourself Neu Tour!
We’ve got a full day of speakers and gigs coming to Brighton, Birmingham and Leeds this month.