Live Review: Palace – Liverpool

Palace

Buyers Club, Liverpool, April 2017

Words & Photos: Elena Katrina 

If you follow Popped then you’ll know that I’m a HUGE fan of Palace, I even got taken on a trip to Berlin just to watch them play. It’s felt like a while though since I saw them in Liverpool, in fact, I think the Kazimier was still open then. I’m not a huge fan, however, of The Buyers Club, the venue where one of my favourite bands were to play. But I was in for a surprise there too as someone discovered that the lights actually do move and the sound can sound great!

First up for the evening was local band Echo Beach, a band who seemed a little on the shy side and didn’t really interact with each other as much as I reckon they do when they feel comfortable. There was hints at it but given time I reckon these will be a really exciting prospect to watch live. They’re more than competent musicians and song-writers but for me just need to own their stage a little more. I’m excited to see how things move on with time for them.

Main tour support for Palace up to and including Liverpool was Babeheven, a band who I have heard before but never seen live and while I was watching them I was wondering why the hell not. They’re an absolute delight to watch. Lead singer Nancy Andersen is as cute as cute can be with her little quips and jokes, some of which made her cringe but laugh at the same time. She has a magical vocal and an endearing personality that just shines through but at the same time she needs to really believe how good she is. The notes she gets and the tone, it seems so effortless, if she had real balls about it then it would be incredible – I believe this will come with time, but I never want her to lose her personality in it all. A true delight.

Palace, oh Palace where to begin with you. Well, it’s beginning to get difficult for me to write about these without seeming like an absolute crazed nut job because they just bring something alive in me, something which very few bands manage to do. I watch them light up the stage (no pun intended – seeing as The Buyers Club is notorious for bad lighting, if you’re trying to be a photographer anyway) and I look around the room trying to catch the general mood, who is singing, who isn’t and trying to ignore the idiots talking at the back (yes I can hear your white noise even from the front, you don’t escape my scathing words just because I can’t see you). The general mood though was buoyant, everywhere and when Leo called for the crowd to step forward there was absolutely no hesitation and I felt the heat and the love swell from all around me. This was unlike any Palace in Liverpool gig I’d been to yet.

The band had been on a heavy tour and despite looking a little weary they didn’t give anything less than 100% on stage. I’m not sure how they do it, especially when you consider that their songs are emotionally charged and Leo never seems to leave out an ounce of emotion when he delivers each song. I can sense that in part it’s the crowd’s response that keeps momentum going for them, and for other bands who spend so much time on the road. There were certainly times I felt like they seemed re-energised.

Their set was filled with album tracks and singles, but I knew what the crowd was waiting for, and so did they, keeping Bitter right until the end we go to dig deep and wallow in tracks such as It’s Over and Holy Smoke. I think it’s possibly the longest set I’ve seen the band play.  There were non album additions such as the deliciously mellow and undulating shimmery vibes of past single Kiloran, brand new track I’ll Find Out, which I am eager to get my hands on, and a version of Ocean Deep – a track which I’m not sure I’ve heard before and if I have it was years ago and a song that was dedicated, kind of, to support band Babeheaven, Leo telling us how they were probably already on the motorway home though “fuck um” he jokingly whispered into the mic before launching into the band’s signature bitter-sweet melodies.

My personal highlights for the night though was probably how they steered us into the night with opener Keep Your Head Above The Water, interestingly apt for a city with such a famous river. Have Faith is a personal favourite and I hence forth forbid them to play a gig that I’m at without playing it; it’s sing along guitar lines are too much fun and lyrically I feel somewhat bound to it. I also lost track of what day it was  – this didn’t feel like a Tuesday gig, especially not when Break The Silence raced on in and bounced off the walls. This is a band who have got it down pat when it comes to a live performance, it might not be a constant barrage of indie stompers you might expect us to rant and rave about but this band is, to me, pretty damn close to perfection.

 

 

 

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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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