Live Review: Peace + Millions – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (21.09.13)

Between these two loud live acts, Oxford Art seemed such a tight space on Saturday night. Loud in their sound but also with a high performance energy that seemed almost too intense to watch from the bar.

Brisbane band Millions kicked off the show, keeping fairly quiet in between songs but gathering a big crowd. They’ve garnered a reputation as being the well-dressed, young, sharp band from Brisbane – “I’m going to ask you politely to clap along,” front-man Don asked before the band played a cover of Rodriguez’ “Sugar Man.” While this is true, Millions are also seriously good with their instruments. “They signed off their set with two of their best tracks “Slow Burner” from their first EP and latest single “Nineteen.” They didn’t seem to be having as much as fun as they told us, but maybe that’s the result of playing a gig away from home.

Peace then came on stage and from the get-go it almost felt like being a part of an early Beatles concert. Not only did the lead singer, Harrison Koisser, adapt the skivvy/moptop look but anything he uttered in his English accent elicited excited screams. It’s clear that fans had come out to watch the show, singing along and shouting out song requests. Despite their arty fashion style, Peace don’t try too hard to impress – and in that way they almost come across as an Australian band. Certainly some of their tracks fit into the local Aussie garage scene, including “Follow Baby” and “Bloodshake.”

With killer bass lines, crashing drums and strong choruses their music is exactly the opposite of peaceful. Having come straight off the festival circuit in the northern hemisphere lines like “lighters in the air” didn’t quite work but otherwise the banter was admirable. At one point Koisser even paused the music to ask for the cricket score. A highlight was their mash-up of Disclosure’s “White Noise” into “Another Brick in the Wall”, a throwback to fellow Englishmen. Of course, the band left triple j single “Lovesick” for the end and quit the stage, happy and humble, on their last night in Australia.