Photo by Tish Scripps
‘Hey- Ho! Vacc-ines!’ The powerful London pop-punk rockers certainly raised the bar last night at The Sugarmill, living up to the title of Britain’s music pioneers for the sound of 2011 – tipped by radio one’s Zane Lowe and Fearne Cotton. Their performance transcended a multitude of reasons why, which led me to the definite conclusion that I would have no problem whatsoever if they were to carry the torch for this side of the Atlantic’s alternatives music. Saying that, they resonate the air of coolness of the early days of Julian Casablancas’ gang, the forlorn yet fascinating longing of Interpol’s Paul Banks’ vocals, and lie in the same exciting league of America’s ‘Mona’, for breaking new ground in sound, whilst holding the same punk heart of The Ramones. Tonight, music lovers and Sugarmill virgins alike, were aghast as to how polished their sound was, they’re clearly not just mucking about nor in it for the money and image, but the pure soul and revelry.
Their infectious bass punching sound got those feet-a-going and pit-a-thriving, from the very first strum to the very last drum kick, a truly vigorous set without the lethargic lag that often follows the big numbers thrown out first by so many bands, but The Vaccines exhumed more energy than a night of red bull, followed by morning caffeine, and pro-plus top-ups. Highlights included The opener ‘Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’, a miniscule length of excellence, to be compared to the feel-good, shout out vibes of The Ramones, or Dog’s “London Bridge’, mixed with the cool front of Best Coast, along with ‘If you Wanna’ and ‘Post Break-up Sex’.
I expected it to be good, but not this good; nor did many others, but it was understandably a well-deserved full house night. Not being able to move for bodies on the dance floor or the balconies, peering through the arms and legs of the young flesh tonight just to get a glimpse of this smokin’ foursome, made it all the more sweet. This was as close to perfection as the Sugarmill has seen for a long time, even more luscious than the Joy Formidable’s NME visit last year, and I’m pretty sure the band must have swooned off stage knowing it.
Stellar sound, delectable vocals and upbeat tunes; not heavy or sad or completely off-the-chain, but taking us forward in our times, they would get a pretty solid 9/10 for their performance. Imagine how fresh, invigorating, and prevailing those four Liverpudlian lads playing to The Cavern crowds must have come across; well The Vaccines are putting such musical motions in force for 2011. Superb.The only things and I mean the only things that could have improved this soaring night into one of absolute bliss, was: A) if I could have picked up a copy of their album to enjoy all night long, to carry on my sonic high (yet we can’t get our mitts on it until March 31st!), and B) an encore. But…that’s not always a bad thing – The Vaccines definitely left their Stoke crowd in want of more ;).
Check out tunes 'Post break-up sex' for lovers of Interpol and 'Slow Hands' and 'Wreckin bar (ra ra ra)' to get you moving!