Live Review: Palace at 02 Academy Bristol with Billie Marten. 5th February 2022

On a cold, slightly damp Saturday evening in the heart of Bristol, who would have known what a special night we were in for. With the release of their new album Shoals last month, these boys brought their tour to the 02 Academy in Bristol for a night of good music, with support from Billie Marten.

Only one support for this show, coming from singer-songwriter Billie Marten. Billie, with the backing of her band, played us a few songs from their discography. Although the songs started very soft and quiet, come the end of the set they picked up, and more people became interested in what was going on on stage.

A really good choice for the opening band, with music that perfectly set the mood and was really enjoyable.

And then it was on to the main act of the night.

Although Palace aren’t one for big entrances and fan fares, the roar that greeted them as they came on stage showed they had some dedicated and appreciated fans at this show.

Although the first couple of songs took a while to warm up the crowd, by the 4th song they had them in the palm of their hand, with people across the venue singing and dancing along, everyone there having a good time. I could feel the balcony start to shake underneath me from the movement!

Not one for lots of crowd interaction, these guys just got on and played their music, playing a massive 16 songs throughout the night. It was clear that the music meant a lot more than just words and sounds to so many people at the show. From my position on the balcony, I could see friends dancing hand in hand, singalongs and even some happy tears. For many people this was certainly that gig.

In keeping with their restrained, laid back nature of the night, there was no walk-off-walk-on (and those who know me will know how happy that makes me), they just kept playing for us. And the crowd kept loving it.

Again, there was no big, over the top finish from the band, just a calm end to a set of good music. That isn’t to say the audience wasn’t going insane, and there was smiles and happy faces from everyone as they left the venue after what was a truly magical night.

Words and photos by Ted Stargatt (all photos are copyrighted to Ted Stargatt/TrueStyleMusic)

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