The Vaccines – The Academy – 25/03/11

Review: Ros Madigan
Photo: Alessio Michelini

The Vaccines have been littering the “rising stars”, “up and coming”, “one’s to watch”, “hotly tipped” and “next big thing” categories in publications both online and offline. I’m sure they are very eager to be rid of this ‘label’ and show us, the ever-curious audience, what they are all about. We have been hearing endless plugs and constant radio play from this four piece, London based band. This Irish date in The Academy was to be their first headline gig since the record came out (“What did you expect from the Vaccines?”). This would have been pretty much the first time any Irish in the crowd would have seen The Vaccines, so the crowd waited in hot anticipation.

Justin Young, who formerly performed under the name Jay Jay Pistolet, a sound far removed from the edgy pop-rock genre they know inhabit, came to the stage along with the remaining members of the band. The opener, ‘Were Happening”, provides a great thumping bass line which carries the crowd straight through to the next few songs. They quickly run from song to song with next to no break in order to catch your breath. It comes at you like a wave of catchy pop melodies that you can’t but enjoy and dance along to.

“Post Break Up Sex” has been a staple on BBC Radio 1 playlists for months with DJ’s such as Zane Lowe plugging the track whenever possible. The song details post teen break up sex by chanting the process over and over. The bands lyrics are simplicity encapsulated into short pop-rock gems.

The slow set of the gig saw ‘Wetsuit’ and ‘A Lack of Understanding’ reveal a softer, more melodic side to the band. This was an aspect I did not think The Vaccines had in their locker. Before I could stop and begin to enjoy the more quiet end to things, ‘Wreckin’ and ‘If You Wanna’ had come along providing the crowd with the much needed opportunity to throw themselves about in a sea full of moshing hipsters.

The gig had ended are I was surprised at how short the gig was, lasting just over 35minutes. I had to remind myself that this band only had one album to their name and really dont have any other material. This band in my opinion had fully lived up to “the hype” and provided a platform from which they can now hopefully grow. All throughout the gig I was finding myself imagining this whole set in a festival setting, most likely within a tent, packed to the rafters, with that festival euphoria filling the air. Their catchy, simple chorus lines make everyone want to sing and bemoan their ex-girlfriend.

Is the new album one of the best albums of the year? No. Are The Vaccines one of the most talented bands circulating the festival circuit this summer? No. The question really is: Will I and thousands of others be flocking in anticipation to see The Vaccines this summer? YES!

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