Palace @ Thekla, Bristol, 19/04/2017

PalaceThe long-awaited debut album released by Palace late last year, So Long Forever, firmly rip curled the band into the indie sphere. Since their initial EP in 2014, Palace have been surrounded by a media buzz, and even clinched a support gig for Jamie T’s big London comeback. Now with a solid debut album to boot, the London quartet have gone from strength to strength. On their headline tour before festival season, they’re performing at Thekla tonight.

The smooth guitar riff of “Head Above The Water” opens their soothing set list, though not without a slight glitch. “Just imagine you’re at home, dreaming,” jokes lead singer, Leo Wyndham, breaking the ice and brushing off the false start. Second time lucky, the ethereal and summery soundscape of “Head Above The Water” starts their set with just the right amount of dreamy, floaty loveliness.

Likened to Foals and The Maccabees, Palace exude a calming aura about them, with a sound that could both lull you to sleep or have a slow dance to. This resonates with the crowd, with the mix of energetic youth and slow movers towards the back of the venue. Seemingly surprised by the raucous reaction from some of the younger members of the audience, Palace revel in the “closest thing [they’ve] ever had to a mosh pit”.

The romanticised quality of their songwriting blends into blues and rock with tracks such as “Holy Smoke” and “So Long Forever”. Strung by Leo Wyndham’s bluesy vocal, their composition is both ethereal and moving, especially with some of their more emotional tracks; “Veins” in particular.

Final track of the evening is “Bitter”, the biggest crowd pleaser tonight. Played with an extended outro, Palace get louder and faster to end the night on a climactic high. With waves and byes, they leave the stage but come back for an encore, “Break The Silence”, much to the delight of the crowd.

Palace’s unique soundscape encompasses a host of hazy genres and textures quite unlike any other band around right now. The blend of blues and rock is delightful to listen to on a summer’s day, and even better in a live setting. With a solid debut album to fill a full set with, Palace are definitely going to be an amazing band to see at a festival this year; I know I’ve got my eyes peeled.

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