Live Review: Palace – Manchester

Palace

Deaf Institute, November 25th 2016

Words and Photos: Elena Katrina

palace-elenakatrinaThe Deaf Institute is my current favourite venue for gigs, I love everything about it, the style, the intimacy, the good dolly bad dolly wall paper in the little girls room. Everything. So what better way to spend a Friday night than in my favourite venue watching one of my favourite bands of the last 3 years.
I wasn’t the only one who thought this either. No one cared that they could be out finding and fighting for the “bargain of the season” that night, on Black Friday, because the hottest ticket that night in Manchester had to be this Sold Out show. With the venue pumping to go more than half an hour before the band even set foot on stage you knew it was going to be one hell of a show- and, it was.

Support for this show was the ever so talented Ethan Barnett, aka Ten Tonnes,  and I can understand why he, and his band, are supporting Palace. Especially when he played his solo track- there’s a grave tone to his vocal and a melancholy tone and the track he does alone (just after he broke his guitar string) has a very similar aesthetic to Palace- at times the room comes to a standstill to listen and you could have heard but a pin drop.

The majority of his tracks though, the ones played with the band are much more up tempo than those of Palace and have a lot more kick and attack, a the storm before the Palace calm, if you will. A perfect choice.

The place was, at times jumping … yes it’s true… jumping. Ok not all of it and not the entire time but definitely at key points (Have Faith being one). Groups of guys down the front leaping around as if they were at an Oasis concert circa 1994 – ok maybe not quite so but as with as much enthusiasm I’m sure. Girls were clutching to their spot at the front eager not to miss out on anything.
The band seemed to revel in it too, Leo even breaking into an uncharacteristic grin, though he did it sideways so only a few of us actually caught it in the shadows

palace - elenakatrinaBreak the Silence  was another song that caused much more than just toe tapping. This band are the tightest they have ever ever been this is the best gig of theirs I’ve been to in terms of band playing, sound and crowd reaction. I have it on good authority that this wasn’t even the best gig they’ve played – outdone by a London crowd no less – almost unheard of.
For the most part there is very little in the way of band banter but things take a turn just after I thought this as a guy in the crowd yells out “you guys are awesome, fucking awesome!” The same guy having been giving it some verbal welly throughout the night with calls for them to sing It’s Over … and then singing it himself. This finally broke the barrier and earned him a cheeky quip from Leo:  “If you want to get up and sing maybe at the end you can get up and sing – all of them- every Palace song!”

I was thrilled that the band decided to add Veins to their setlist, though I must say Manchester you were far too chatty. This track deserves you to gasp and sing along, not have a quick chat about what you did at work that day. Tsk. I’m removing one point off of your crowd score for bad behaviour.

It’s always a pleasure to witness a band evolve, especially when you were on board the first moment you heard them. Palace have more than managed to supersede my expectations and hopes for them. Their debut album, So Long Forever, firmly, and now I guess, officially, taking my album of the year title.  So when it came to them playing the album’s title track they knew exactly what to do with it to really pull in the punches and they made us wait for that build and kick. This was the one that so very almost got the entire crowd clapping and I was so willing it on, but alas it wasn’t to be…. this time around. Bitter remains the one that everyone goes for.  I have a feeling in my bones though, that when they return in the Spring of 2017, that it’s all going to just lift off, all of it, way more than one song and I can’t wait to see it.

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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