Happy People is the second album from Worcester quartet Peace. I sort of overlooked the band on their first release having been put off a little by the hype that was being built around them by the NME – I think they're the last band I can remember to get the hard sell from the waning powers of that weekly magazine which has the potential to become a poison chalice. For example – do you remember any Viva Brother songs now? Nah, me neither, however, in the case of Peace we were amazed to see the band had booked in three nights at local Brighton venue The Haunt and quickly sold out the whole lot. It's not the first time either, I heard about them selling out four consecutive nights at Birthdays in Dalston to end their tour to support debut album In Love. There's clearly a good and growing following for Peace so I decided to investigate – is their new album as lacking in substance as the critics who have panned it say, or as era-defining as those who champion it suggest?
About 10 minutes before The Decemberists are due on stage, the house lights harshly illuminate, accompanied by a distant voice, “This is a fire alarm… please calmly make your way to the exits.” A few people start to edge their way to the doors, but with no visible flames, the majority of people stand firm and pretend nothing’s happened. The Decemberists have a pretty hardcore fanbase – a fire certainly isn’t going to get in the way of seeing them play.