Having never seen The Vanguards perform, an invitation to their single launch was very much appreciated. The evening had the sir of an event rather than a gig, with an exclusive invite only policy and an abundance of stills and video cameras in the audience. Kicking the evening off with the unveiling of their video for the new single ‘Regress’ starring not only the band but several members of the assembled audience, the tone was set for what was to be a high energy set.
From the outset Tom Twemlow on guitar and vocals, Richard Hearn, and Tom Bishop on drums threw themselves into a frenzied performance, whilst Joe Jennings on bass was a little more pedestrian in action, his playing was far from it. Evidently with a lot of talent on the stage the performance glinted with nods to the Clash in the raw racy guitars and with melodic sauntering bass lines reminiscent of early Cure.
The third number ‘If only’ was an audience pleaser melding pace setting guitars and soaring vocals to great effect and proving to be a great spring board for the live airing of their current single ‘Regress’. Obviously enjoying every minute of this the band showed real enthusiasm and alacrity in their candid performance. It was refreshing to see a group of people so comfortable and confident in their own songs that they could be so relaxed on stage.
Progressing through a more angular sound, the following track was more complex both rhythmically and melodically, showing a quirky side to the band before they launched into their final song. ‘Epiphany’ a dynamic song about missed opportunity was effect laden and urgent, and a suitable climax to the set.
Bowing to the heckling from the DJ and the audience, the guys returned to the stage looking surprisingly overwhelmed for another rendition of the single giving them opportunity to showcase their musicianship and to firmly plant the song in the audiences’ collective subconscious.
The Regress EP is available through www.myspace.com/thevanguardsuk