Nothing brightens a gloomy Wednesday evening like going to a gig. Especially if it is a sold out gig at the Electric Brixton, and the headline act of the night is the local indie/blues rock band Palace. The four-piece have just seen their long awaited debut album`s ‘So Long Forever’ release and traveled around Europe slowly infecting everyone with their extremely gripping melodies. Now they are back in London, and as the lights dim down and the first chord escapes the guitar the whole room holds their breath waiting for their hearts to be stolen.
Palace great the well warmed-up (by the support acts – Jamie Lee and Ten Tonnes) crowd with a long and loud intro. Half hidden in the shadows, the lead singer and guitarist Leo Wyndham launches into Head Above The Water, one of their finest tracks. His voice, powerful as a scream, mixes well with the tingling guitar parts. They slow it down a bit and take the crowd in another world with the dreamy ‘I Want What You Got’ and psychedelic ‘Tomahawk’ powered by Matt Hodges` immensely beautiful drum rhythms. Leo ushers audience to move around and sing along before playing their best-known singles ‘Have Faith’ and ‘Kiloran’. Palace are no strangers to massive choruses and dense, atmospheric instrumental parts that remind of the last record of dearly departed The Maccabees.
After facing some technical difficulties, the band seems to put all their frustration in playing which results in a bit angry but undeniably excellent performance of ‘Break The Silence’ followed by the waltzy and melodic ‘Blackheath’. Then comes ‘Holy Smoke’ – a moving dedication to a lost family member. Luckily, Palace know how to balance out the dark and heavy and the lighter parts of their set so they cheer up with ‘Live Well’ and their album title track ‘So Long Forever’ with an ending as large as the universe.
Palace definitely are charmers – being relatively new, they are still trying to give the audience their all and their faces still light up every time they look up at the loving crowd. With that extra confidence boost from the audience, they succeed to reach new heights with “a little romantic number” called ‘Veins’ – an early track that hints at the band`s blues obsession. It is a good showcase for Rupert Turner`s (guitar) as well as Will Dorey`s (bass) musician skills. So is the (almost) final track ‘It`s Over’.
After the usual encore ritual, it is time for the melodic ‘Family’, which has a neat guitar hook and a vague resemblance of Kings Of Leon older stuff, and the grand finale. All Electric Brixton is waving and clapping along to ‘Bitter’ as the night comes to an end. The band looks overwhelmed by the support, but they should get used to it. Championing the best similarities to indie massives Foals, The Maccabees, and Mystery Jets, and their own sound at the same time, Palace could just be the next big thing.