Palace // O2 Academy, Leeds // 19.10.2017
Thursday evening saw Palace take on the O2 Academy Leeds in support of Public Service Broadcasting’s tour. Describing themselves as an alternative blues/rock band hailing from London that combines laid back guitars with brooding vocals, it wasn’t an obvious choice to support Public Service Broadcasting, a genre defying group, with the key characteristic being their sampling of old public information films and archive material. Despite this they certainly held their own when opening the show. Succeeding the release of their first EP in 2014, palace have spent the past three years steadily releasing new tracks and building up a firm cult following.
Opening a show is never an easy feat but Palace had a particularly difficult job, with the average age of the crowd attendees topping forty-five and bore more resemblance to a football crowd rather than your average alt rock mob. Despite the fans being slightly inconsistent with their usual demographic, Palace still managed to command respect from those at the venue. It was a distinctly relaxed show, with front-man Leo Wyndham’s charming vocals effortlessly capturing everyone’s attention. The atmosphere of calm was to be expected considering the composed pace and ethereal quality of their music, although it was by no means boring. This combination led for a captivating watch, with the band visibly enjoying themselves and interacting with each other.
They ended their concise set on a high with their most popular track ‘Bitter’ from debut album Lost in the Night – much to the delight of the pockets of dedicated Palace fans dotted amongst the crowd. The repetitive hook in the chorus of ‘Bitter’ makes the track easily recognisable and somewhat comforting to listen to and the pleasant, almost strained element of Wyndham’s lead vocals (similar to that in Hozier’s) seamlessly translates the emotion from the lyrics to the listener. They wrapped up their set by promoting their upcoming headlining shows, which I will certainly be giving my time to. I am looking forward to seeing where this relatively new band are going to go, whilst hopefully staying true to the trademark sound they have trusted to take them this far.