London-based alternative rock trio Palace dazzled a sold-out Nottingham crowd on the second leg of their comeback tour.
Following a brief period away from music, Palace offered an exuberant mix of new and old material ahead of the imminent release of their second record. Debut record So Long Forever established the three-piece as spacious adversaries of the innate beauty within life, gaining them comparisons to the likes of Wu Lyf and The Maccabees. Since 2017, the band, consisting of Leo Wyndham (vocals, guitar), Rupert Turner (guitar) and Matt Hodges (drums), have been writing, recording and mixing the contents of their soon to be released second record, but for now, fans were content enough with a February UK tour which allowed the trio to get back into the rhythm of performing.
“It was clear that we were viewing a band with a very bright future ahead of them”
Even from early on in the evening, it was clear that the night promised something special, with crowds pouring into Bodega’s confined venue. Kicking off proceedings, ‘Hot Dreams’ instantly proved to be one of the surprises of the night, with a sublime set of indie rock tracks thrashed out in rampant fashion. ‘Raincoat’ was a fervent success, whilst the more downbeat ‘Wall’ highlighted a subtler, more refined dimension to the quartet’s sound. Having already gained the attention of Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, the band’s latest single ‘Stronger’ was a defiant message in support of those with mental health difficulties, and as ‘California’ and ‘Plungepool’ amassed some early hysteria amongst the crowd, it was clear that we were viewing a band with a very bright future ahead of them.
“Palace took to the stage and delivered a masterclass display of dreamy alternative rock that defied all expectations”
In completely unexpected circumstances, a wave of doubt passed over the crowd, wondering whether Palace could actually better their support band at their own headline show, but as the last few crowd members piled in to the heaving venue, Palace took to the stage and delivered a masterclass display of dreamy alternative rock that defied all expectations. From the start with ‘So Long Forever’, Wyndham’s rich vocals cascaded around the venue with such pureness, it was impossible not to revel with delight, as both he and Turner interacted enthusiastically with the crowd and with one another.
“The crowd forgot for a second that they were listening to a new track”
‘I Want What You Got’ and ‘Have Faith’ were met with enthusiasm before Wyndham introduced the first of the trio’s new tracks, ‘Berlin’. As with many shows that come before the release of a record, there is always hesitancy with new single’s being played, given that the crowd haven’t heard them before. However, such was the quality of ‘Berlin’ that the crowd forgot for a second that they were listening to a new track, rejoicing at the complexity and technicality of a piece laden with golden vocals and shimmering guitar.
“The audience and the band alike sang with such passion”
‘Live Well’ was bellowed out with great gusto before latest single ‘No Other’ showed how sublimely Palace’s new material mixes with their debut record and earlier EPs. There’s no doubting that the deep-meaning of the band’s lyrics allow for vast interpretation by many, which subsequently allows fans to connect with various lines with such ease. ‘It’s Over’ and ‘Heaven Up There’ were standout moments of the set, moments in which the audience and the band alike sang with such passion rarely seen with the more sedate, alternative bands.
As ‘Bitter’s rousing chorus swept into the final track of the night, ‘Veins’, it seemed almost remarkable that this was Palace just trying to get back into the swing of things. The calmness and composure of the three, combined with the obvious joy they had from being back on stage, proved that Palace are well and truly back and better than even. With more sold out dates to come, alongside festival slots in the summer and a new album, 2019 is building up to be something special for the London-based trio.
Featured Image courtesy of Palace Official Facebook Page.