I used to live next to a pub going by the name of The Chester, called that because its entrance was just around the corner on Chester Street. Chester Street was a very steep street with The Chester right at the bottom, and I always liked cycling down that street with my feet away from the pedals, pretending I was flying or something like that. The Chester itself was a great pub too – although too expensive to become our regular. In the middle of its back garden stood a tree with wooden benches around it, so drinking your lager there felt like hanging out in a public park without the associated teenage guilt.
There was also a cat frequenting our neighbourhood – our local ‘Seven Dinner Sid’ – which was called the Chester as well. (By the pub staff, that is; we called him ‘Floppy’, because of its floppy tail). Not quite a Cheshire cat with its red stripes and all, although his ability to spontaneously appear at our front door would suggest otherwise.
No surprise then, that Chester trio Peaness feel particularly close to home for me. Not just because of the geographic relation, mind. It’s also the small world-ness of it all. Sharing one address with your friends, the pub literally next door. There are no pretenses, only good intentions. Plenty of misery, heartbreak, hangovers, undone dishes and unexpected guests on the couch, of course, but at some point that becomes part of the myth, of the story. There’s inside jokes and silly puns (pea-ness, anyone?), but most of all there’s a kind of low-level fun. Not the euphoric of a wild night out, but the steady and solid enjoyment of a strong and catchy tune. Something like ‘Seafoam Islands’, that is, or, even better, ‘Same Place’. And there’s safety in that.
Peaness have set me off on a bit of a trip down memory lane, then. Thing is, it’s so damn difficult to describe what constitutes a good tune. And I bet it would be boring if I knew how. So as a music critic – sorry for breaking the fourth wall – I’ll have to grab everything I can and spin a story out of it and around it (Everett True taught me that trick!). There’s nothing especially nostalgic or backward-looking about the Are You Sure? EP (am I sure?). It’s full of pop gems nevertheless. Not overly sweet, but no hint of bitterness either. Much better than many of their peers, for sure. So go on and have a listen. Make up your own story. Enjoy Peaness.
-- Caspar Jacobs, May 3, 2017