The Vaccines – Alexandra Palace, London, UK (14th April 2018)

Off the back of the release of their fourth studio album, it is fair to say The Vaccines are undoubtedly one of the UK’s biggest and best bands.

Alexandra Palace (or its official name, Ally Pally) was the venue for what was an incredible performance from a band that perhaps don’t always gain the plaudits they deserve.

The atmosphere in the historic Ally Pally was just fantastic – full of fans that entered their late teens using The Vaccines’ classic debut album, What Did You Expect from The Vaccines s the soundtrack for the awkward transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Lead singer Justin Young has said with this album, Combat Sports, the band had to rediscover their sound, with a process that saw them write 50 songs.

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Each of the songs from the new album sounded as perfected as you would imagine, as products of this strenuous process. Night Club, I Can’t Quit and Your Love is My Favourite Band sit impressively alongside long-standing classics such as If You Wanna.

The new five man line-up definitely brings a new exuberance with Yoann Intonti, formerly of Spector, picking up the sticks and Tim Lanham on the keys. Particularly with Lanham, The Vaccines have a bigger presence on stage – helpful, when you’re playing to a venue this size.

Young, not your typical rock ‘n roll front man, is a guy that always comes across as “reserved and shy” as he sings in Teenage Icon. Tonight, though, his energy seemed even more ramped up than usual, as he stood atop speakers, flung his arms in the air and played up to the large screens that beamed out his image all night. His new slender frame dressed in an effortlessly cool short-sleeve shirt and sunglasses that remained on for the most of the night.

Guitarist Freddie Cowan said recently that the band are now having more fun on tour because they’re actually getting a decent dose of sleep, meaning they are fresh to do other things and simply have a good time.

Tonight, this new Vaccines were out in force. Everything turned up a notch, a bit quicker and 100% louder. Think the one week you perform that much better because you’re not hungover for your Saturday job or Sunday League game, and you get the idea.

The crowd fed off of this power and had Ally Pally shaking the foundations of the huge hill it sits upon. For anyone who knows this venue, a pint is well deserved by the time you get through the doors, it is a mammoth journey.

It is easy to forget the amount of anthemic tunes these boys have churned out, all of which so relatable lyrically and so addictive that you have to sing along. There will certainly be some sore throats around London today.

This band have done what every top band do at the top of their game – they have analysed, looked for areas of improvement and grown. They now easily now sit in the same sphere as Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys and The Libertines.

The Vaccines play a string of shows in the coming month, with a slot at Live At Leeds, before dates in the US and across Europe.

This summer they hit up a string of festivals, including Community Festival at Finsbury Park on July 1st. Head here for more info and news on an incredible bill that includes the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Circa Waves, Sundara Karma and many more!