Artist: The Vaccines
Venue: Assembly Rooms, Leamington Spa
Date: 4th December 2011
It’s a cold and rainy Sunday night in Leamington Spa. However inside the lavish surroundings of the Assembly Rooms, The Vaccines are ensuring the temperature is positively volcanic as they rattle through a set of indie-punk nuggets. Earlier in the evening, promising support act Howler justify the early hype as they confidently wow a sizable crowd. If there were a band to do “A Vaccines” next year, bet your last dollar on these guys. Second support act Frankie and The Heartstrings equally managed to warm up the now full capacity crowd with their joyful blend of fun indie pop.
With the crowd warmed up and now packed like sardines, The Vaccines are given a heroes welcome as they grace the Assembly Rooms stage. Kicking off with ‘Blow it Up’ the crowd begins to swell and sway, whilst launching into the first of many sing a longs. As ‘Blow it Up’ reaches it’s climax, the London four piece effortlessly segue way into ‘Wrecking Bar (Ra Ra Ra) prompting the first of many swirling mosh pits which will grace the Assembly Rooms.
Tonight, The Vaccines played a large chunk of their amazing debut LP littered with a generous helping of new tracks which are a promising indication of where the band are heading. Much in the same ilk as their previous output, these new tracks carry a beefed up, almost punk rock vibe. Tonight will see Justin Young wear a t-shirt with Minor Threat emblazoned across his chest, its almost like the DC punks have possessed Young and Co with their uncompromising hardcore aesthetic. The sonic attack doesn’t end there, as Young’s stance on stage is almost military the way the frontman holds his guitar like an assault rifle. This isn’t too say The Vaccines don’t know how to deliver a diverse set, which is clear when they dispense more tender tracks ‘All in White’ and ‘Family Friend’, justifying that this band can induce mosh pits as well as poignant gentle moments.
It’s left to ‘Norgaard’ to bring this riotous gig to close, resulting in another venomous mosh pit and yell-a-long from the crowd. After a fantastic year which has seen this young group go from hype band of the moment to bona fide national treasures, it would seem that the future is very bright for The Vaccines. With an outstanding live performance and a clutch of promising new songs, 2012 looks like it might even be better than 2011 for this London band.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams
Photography by Naomi Abbs