The last time we saw The Vaccines it was way back in 2013 when they supported Mumford & Sons at the Gentlemen of the Road festival in Lewes. Apart from releasing the disappointing ‘Melody Calling’ EP, we’ve heard nothing from them. Until now.
With their long-awaited third album ‘English Graffiti’ readying for release, the London quartet announced a couple of special intimate gigs, the first of which was in Brighton. Following in the footsteps of Foo Fighters last year, they chose Concorde 2, further adding to the venue’s reputation as the coolest place to play on the south coast. And like the Foos it was all very last minute.
Not surprisingly the show quickly sold out – such is the reputation of The Vaccines. Anyone who was at their last Brighton gig (at the Centre in May 2012) will know just how good they are live.
Refreshingly, there was no support act, although that did mean a two hour wait before the band took the stage. But considering how long they’d been away, an extra couple of hours just ramped up the excitement. By the time they made their entrance – all dressed in black and all playing white instruments – the atmosphere was warming up nicely. Like a coiled spring, it was obvious the band were as pleased to be back as the audience were to see them.
Kicking off with ‘Blow It Up’ and aided by an additional keyboardist/guitar player, they stormed through a set filled with old favourites like ‘Teenage Icon’ and ‘Wreckin’ Bar’ as well as debuting a smattering of newbies. One of those was the contagious new single ‘Handsome’ – a marked return to form.
As you’d expect from The Vaccines, it was a no-frills show, although props to their lighting designer for providing some of the most impressive lighting I’ve seen at C2. The band’s success has been built on keeping things simple and like the majority of their sub-three-minute songs, their live performance is all about non-stop energy.
“It’s good to be back, we’ve missed you!” said Justin Young. Judging by the crowd reaction, it was a sentiment shared. On a bone-shivering cold night, a shot of The Vaccines was just what the doctor ordered!