OK so I broke the golden rule of music journalism last night. It was a simple job really as all I had to do was watch the brilliant Vaccines and then write a witty but informative review for this site. However, the “couple” of quick drinks before the gig turned out to the starting point for an evening of debauchery and much man-bonding
It always happens when I go to the O2. Part of it is simply that the O2 still remains London’s worst music venue. Completely Soul-less, overpriced and could make the Beatles look like a pub band. It’s just an awful place to watch live music. I understand why bands play there though. Of course the cash remuneration is a lot higher than say the Kentish Town forum and obviously you can get more people into the venue (or bums on seats in the case of the O2). But every time I go there I have this overwhelming desire to leave before the final curtain.
Last night’s gig was no exception. I wondered beforehand whether the Vaccines could pull it off. Yes, they’re an extremely talented band. However, the O2 is a big venue.
The show itself wasn’t sold out. It was certainly busy but there were a lot more empty area’s than usual. However, they did produce. There is a real momentum with the Vaccines and you become more and more aware of how many “anthems” these guys have in their catalogue. Even in my drunken stuper it was clear to see that songs like “Wetsuit”, “All in White” and the obvious “If you Wanna” are not only crowd pleasers but are quickly becoming must-haves. The reaction to “All in White” was quite incredible. Everyone was on their feet with arms thrusting out to the chorus.
It was a long set as well. 22 songs, including a new tune and a very delightful rendition of happy birthday to celebrate Justin Young’s birthday. If I’m honest the location once again blinkered me. I remember seeing them at the IOW Festival and feeling connected. Last night it was just “another gig”. That’s not to take away from the group at all. They played a very accomplished set. You can’t help but love this West London foursome but their music is more suited to better venues than this.
My advice … If you’ve never seen the Vaccines live then make sure you do. In an industry plagued with forgettable dance music these guys are a beacon for talented song writing and excellent live performances. My other advice … stay away from the O2
Apologies for the lack of statistics, thunderous emotion and my usual witty one liners. The Jagermeister seems to have temporarily taken these from me.
Set-list : No Hope, Wreckin’ Bar, Tiger Blood, A Lack Of Understanding, Wetsuit, Teenage Icon, Under Your Thumb, All In Vain, Post Break Up Sex, All In White, Melody Calling, Aftershave Ocean, Ghost Town, Wolf Pack, Blow It Up, I Always Knew, If You Wanna, Family Friend, Whole Wide World, Bad Mood, Happy Birthday (sung by audience and band to celebrate Justin’s birthday), Norgaard