It was a slow start for a Bodega Saturday night standard. Keto opened with only half of its members. But with just two guitars, the duo still managed to impress us all. They are essentially Wolf Alice with more interesting and better vocal (sorry Ellie Rowsell). With such promising potential, it’s a shame we didn’t get to listen to a full band.
With a simple introduction, Palace kicked off the set with ‘I Want What You Got’ from the band’s first EP ‘Lost in the Night’. Followed by the brooding vocals of ‘Chase the Light’ from the latest 2015 EP of the same name, the sounds felt bare and humble yet it was executed with such confidence of an arena-ready band. Adding to the set was the band’s take on Mac Demarco’s ‘Viceroy’, not the greatest cover but a good choice; after all a little bit of Demarco never hurts. It would seem that simmering subtlety is Palace’s specialty.
Strangely enough though, Bodega wasn’t packed like usual. The audience filled the room with considerable (and actually desirable) amount of personal space, but unexpectedly there weren’t a lot of movements. The leading tracks of ‘Bitter’ and ‘Head Above the Water’ did coax out some serious head nods from the audience but most of the time, it was largely just meek awe-struck stares. The set then ended, without an encore just like how all good gigs should, on a more mellow and subdued romantic note of ‘Veins’. Pretty sure a lot of people left the venue that night with a new favourite band.
It would seem that simmering subtlety is Palace’s specialty.
All in all, Palace delivered a short sweet set. Like a PG version of Foals, it was a simple solid hour of little talks and a whole lot of slight sways. Watch this space, quite literally, because next time Palace returns to Bodega, it will sure be packed. This is a band setting out to steal all our hearts when we least expect it.
By Jaisai Wongpichet