Norwich Sound & Vision Day 3 Review
It’s the final night of Sound and Vision and Peace are headlining. The resultant audience is vastly different to those of the previous nights - that of an older demographic, people who seemed to be there to experience some new music from local and upcoming artists in a local independent venue. Tonight, however, many of the people here seem to be here specifically to see Peace. It’s a wash with adolescent musk and dungarees, a top knot count of 17 even in the early evening, and few people seemed excited for the support bands We’ll Be Detectives and Gaffa Tape Sandy.
Nevertheless, Norwich locals, We’ll Be Detectives took to the stage. Although their crowd was the smallest of the night, as is to be expected being the first on the bill, there was a palpable energy in the small church-conversion auditorium and the crowd were soon swaying along. ‘Somebody,’ their single released earlier this year garnered the biggest reaction from the audience as the boys worked the stage which has been home to them so many times in the past. Despite their being few people watching, Jonny showed his expertise as a front man playing smaller, more intimate gigs, maintaining the energy in the room throughout their set.
Gaffa Tape Sandy, winners of ‘Best Indie’ at this year’s NMG awards, followed with a set of raw, garage rock influenced music. They are new to the gigging scene in Norwich, having debuted at the Waterfront Studio last weekend, and seemed tentative early on in their set as they and the crowd warmed to each other. Soon though they were engaging in conversation, more an exchange of shrieks than any actual dialogue, with the onlookers between songs and settled into their usual cool selves. They too showed their experience of smaller gigs and the auditorium filled up quickly. Their stage time wasn’t without mishap however as Kim drew blood from the same finger as usual (he should really be more careful – I worry) and Robbin’s cymbal stand took a tumble. Catherine, the bassist, escaped unscathed however and although their set seemed short at around 20 minutes, their closing with their new single ‘Beehive’ left us on a high. These young musicians exude professionalism, continually showing gratitude for the crowd and suitably building hype for the headliner.
Peace require no introduction in a formal sense, however the energy in the small church building at the Arts Centre was evident from the start as even the intro to the set got a rhythmic clap going, followed by cheers at the band took to the stage. Tonight, due to some accident involving Dom Boyce’s wrist, the band were joined on stage by Sam Doyle, the drummer form the Maccabees, forming some drum stick wielding super human at the back of the stage. Two drum kits and their multiple guitar and bass guitar amplifiers forced a wall of sound towards the mass of floppy haircuts awaiting their triumphant return to touring. Strutting onto stage in a pair of thick-rimmed glasses, resembling something out of Mrs Doubtfire, singer and guitarist Harry looked immediately at home.
Opening with ‘Lovesick’ from their first album ‘In Love,’ always a firm favourite among Peace fanatics, the inevitable mosh ensued, sooner than anyone could have predicted. Other popular tracks played tonight included ‘California Daze’ and ‘Money,’ both of which were met with ovation, everyone joining in with the chorus, leaving Harry to weave his words in his customary silky fashion in the verses. My favourite song of the night, however, was ‘Follow Baby,’ thanks to that huge intro riff which is always even bigger live. Peace also unveiled two new songs tonight, hotly anticipated following their sabbatical from live performances. Both were played by Harry alone on his guitar, an intimate atmosphere producing in the small space. Perhaps because of the stripped back arrangements, these new ballad-esque songs, ‘My Big F***ing Mental Head’ and ‘Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll,’ suggest a new direction for Peace’s music in the future, moving away from the riff-heavy indie rock we’re used to.
Later, chants of ‘we love you Boycey, we do!’ were met by a drum accompaniment from Dom Boyce, or the parts of him that aren’t in a sling! ‘Stand up and take a bow Boycey … groovy baby’ Harry called into the audience, effortlessly suave in a double-breasted coat and silver shoes. Pausing in their final song to thank the audience and express their distaste for the curfew, Peace rounded out a hugely successful Norwich Sound & Vision and their sell-out show. I’ve been very fortunate to have gone to all three nights at this year’s festival, seeing some amazing bands, listening to some fantastic new music and spending time with some lovely fellow music appreciators – I will certainly be back.