– THE CASTLE HOTEL, MANCHESTER –
As far as selling out your first Manchester headline show goes, it can only be a good thing. Even in a modestly sized venue such as The Castle, it’s an intimate setting to get to know your fans. Tonight, a few have travelled from Chester; the birthplace of Peaness. Okay, that’s the only joke I’m going to write (no promises). The band, no doubt, have heard them all before, and there are no jokes made tonight. The name itself is a running joke in the band, one that stuck and is now the moniker of Rach, Balla and Jess.
The three sprightly and youthful figures have a deceptive stage presence – drummer Rach has a nonchalant style of playing with a perpetual grin about her face, whilst Balla and Jess share cheeky smiles and looks during the songs. They’re also not afraid to hold the gaze of the crowd, eager to feed off the energy in the room and the eyes glaring back at them.
The pop-rock trio formed in late 2014 and released their debut EP No Fun in 2015. Their songs from that release are punchy head boppers such as ‘I’m Not Your Problem’ and the flawlessly winsome ‘Summer Song’. Recent singles ‘Oh George’ and ‘Same Place’ are more sing-a-long cuts with the latter processing an irresistible groove stemming from buoyant guitar and the hazy melodies. Having recently signed to indie label Alcopop! Records, the band will release EP Are You Sure? later this year. Seems they passed up the opportunity to simply call the new EP 12 Inch…
Peaness definitely has the makings of a great band, although for now not too much focus should be made on their stage patter – it’s something that will come in time: whether it’s Rach forgetting a joke that she was told earlier that day, or the trio collectively, albeit unintentionally, producing a nervous sigh, they are quite touching moments which come across as three mates having fun. Their strengths lie in their choruses and vocals, and they smartly play to them. Balla and Jess’ sugary harmonies are a perfect homage to Britpop-era bands Lush and Kenickie.
It’s great to see them putting so much effort into the merch and hanging around to chat to fans afterwards. DIY is at the heart of this infectious indie-pop act and polite thank yous and smiles all round suggest they have twigged that their moment has arrived and 2017 is their year.