Palace @ The Mash House, Edinburgh, 21 Feb
Despite their tour van being stolen the night before in Leeds, Palace play an unabashedly confident and beautifully structured show at The Mash House
An electric anticipation awaits Palace as they step out onto the stage to greet a sold-out Mash House. They open the night with the sound of ethereal synths and methodic drums echoing a beating heart, before the lights turn to frontman Leo Wyndham and he strikes the first chords of So Long Forever.
From the get-go, their sound is flawless. The guitars are dynamic and exciting, the drums tight and gritty, and Wyndham displays all of the characteristics you could ask for in a frontman. His vocals are unflappable and his demeanor is smooth, confident and suave. As they begin I Want What You Got, Wyndham’s guitar becomes an extra limb as he leans himself into the music. 'You’re my fire, you’re my spark', he exclaims, and the band settle into a room that’s welcoming them with open arms.
Palace’s set is beautifully structured, balancing their biggest hits (and encouraging the crowd to "get rowdy") with slower numbers and new tracks. The spaces between their songs are filled with atmospheric, meandering guitars that echo the likes of Mark Knopfler, before gripping the audience with the emphatic drums of songs like No Other and Bitter. They skillfully conduct the mood of the room, gliding between their spicy signature tunes and more introspective moments; a particularly well-received highlight of the night is Kiloran, written about a beach on Colonsay – 'I need my coat now, before it rains down'.
Looking at them now, it’s hard to believe that Palace have had a pretty tumultuous 24 hours. The night before this set their tour van, including a huge amount of their gear, was stolen in Leeds and is now nowhere to be seen. The blow it must have been to the band makes this set all the more impressive; they are unabashedly confident, and the relief of being back on stage, as well as the room giving a collective "middle finger up to those pricks", gives their set an added injection of life.