The Vaccines

Topically, as we approach the Flu season where grown men all but die in their beds and women sniffle a little, the aptly named Vaccines found themselves frequenting the stage at the Academy on a bitterly cold Winter’s night.

Support came in the (rather splendid) shape of Deap Vally. The fact that the lead singer was barefoot and wearing nothing but hot pants and a boob tube has nothing to do with the amount of superlatives I am going to throw their way. OK – that’s a lie. It does. A lot! But I have to say they were splendid – something very different!

On Twitter they describe themselves as “Vally girls. We sing the blues. We play rock’n’roll. We sweat. We move. We groove”. That my friends they certainly do. Admittedly they are not the most accomplished musicians in the World, but as per early Black Keys – to whom obvious comparisons will be drawn – if they were too polished it would diminish somewhat from the raw quality and energy of that the duet base much of their stage show. Swigging Jack Daniels from the bottle the drummer and her ‘oh so hot’ guitarist/singer cohort treated the appreciative Brummie crowd to half an hour of rip roaring, power-chord infested hard rock combined with well delivered vocals reminiscent of Sonic Youth and Babes in Toyland. Deap Vally are a refreshing change and ones to keep an eye on.

Deap Vally supporting The Vaccines
Deap Vally supporting The Vaccines
Deap Vally supporting The Vaccines

Next up DIIV (pronounced Dive) all the way from NYC.

As much as Deap Vally seemed the perfect openers for the Vaccines and enhanced the crescendo that was evidently building up for the appearance of the Vaccines, DIIV appeared to be one of those bands that were on the bill because they are on the same label. Don’t get me wrong – they weren’t bad, they were just very different. Each song had the same tempo/rhythm and for the guitarists out there amongst you, the chorus/flanger pedals were taking one hell of a beating.

DIIV supporting The Vaccines
DIIV supporting The Vaccines

On to the Vaccines. Being on the wrong side of 29 I’d been limited to what I’d heard on the radio of them. I was therefore totally unaware of the fervour surrounding the band from their fan base. From the minute the likable Londoners blasted on to the stage to the glorious sound of Slades “Come on Feel the Noise” and ripped into the opening chords of ‘No Hope’ to the final notes of ‘Norgarrd’ their finale, there was an abundance of finger pointing, shoulders jigging and singing at the top of their lungs as their hero’s ran amok on stage. And that was just the security team!

The Vaccines

It was pure energy coupled with reciprocal feelings of mutual respect between the artists and their loyal band of – and I don’t say this lightly – worshippers.

The Vaccines

It was a veritable song fest with energetic belter of a tune following one after another as the crowd put as much effort in to their performance as the band did.

The Vaccines
The Vaccines

“Four Years ago we were the first band playing on the NME tour” announced the singer “and now we’re the headliners. Amazing” and for me it is totally deserved.

The Vaccines

The beautiful “Wetsuit” (my new favourite song) allowed for a much needed lull in the proceedings but then the speed was turned back up to 11 with the splendid “Teenage Icon” and ‘rock-lobster-esq’ “Ghost Town”.

The Vaccines

It was a short set lasting a little over an hour, but boy it was an awesome set! If you’ve not seen the Vaccines and you like high energy music delivered at a high octane pace, then you really need to. You’ll not be disappointed!

The Vaccines

Gig Review by Zak Edwards
Gig Photos by Bianca Barrett

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