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Music Review: The Vaccines

Deborah McArthur has a second helping of the acclaimed band.

This is the second time I have seen The Vaccines (the first time being at T in the Park). I think seeing them in your hometown at an iconic venue like the Barrowlands gives the gig a completely different feel, and I also think seeing a band live only once isn’t enough—as many times as possible please!!

They had two support acts: Howler, which I only caught the last 5minutes of, and Frankie and the Heartstrings. Now Frankie and the Heartstrings is a band a friend told me about last year and I did download one of their tracks, ‘Ungrateful,’ which I really like but I never looked any further into them which is a shame as they were brilliant. There was a calypso feel to some of their tracks; add this to the indie-style and you’re on to a winner in my eyes. Lead singer Frankie Francis has a camp New Romantics style to him, not in the way he dresses but in the way he moves—very camp but intoxicating, you can’t help but watch him. I have since come back from the gig and downloaded a few more of their tracks. I definitely want to see them again.

This was the second gig of the two dates in Glasgow for The Vaccines, and lead singer Justin Young asked if anyone had been to the gig the previous night and a few people cheered. He made a comment saying that was good; he wouldn’t have to tell any jokes to make up for the fact it would be the same set, but then that was pretty much it from him, give or take a few words down the mic. That’s what always amazes me with The Vaccines: their gigs seem to fly by but, mind you, so does the album when I listen to it. I’m not left disappointed though, as they are brilliant live and were on for about an hour. I have realised that they make such good music they don’t need any gimmicks, and that is very refreshing.

They opened with ‘Blow It Up.’ The grunge-guitar sounds at the start of this track have a Nirvana feel in my opinion, but then the melody and Justin’s voice comes in and you are in no doubt it is The Vaccines. This kicked the set off, and it just got better and better. ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ was mental, the crowd went crazy for its short running time: 1:22minutes to be precise!!

They tried out some new material, and I’m excited about what is coming from the band. It’s hard to believe they only formed last year playing The Captains Rest in Glasgow to playing two gigs at the Barrowlands, one of which was completely sold out. What an achievement!!

‘Post Break Up Sex’ got the biggest reaction: everyone singing along with hands in the air, but once the song finished the guitars kept going, wasn’t sure what was going on, were they doing a re-mix of the track—where was this going? Then they mixed straight into ‘All in White,’ which was fantastic. Two of my favourite tracks played back to back—what more can I ask for?

As we were leaving, my friend made commented on how good they were because “they just sound like the album.’ What else should we expect from a band playing live? But in a world of auto-tuning and lip syncing, we are taken aback when a band plays live and sound amazing! Two very happy ladies left the Barrowlands last night. Thank you for an awesome set!!!

Tags: music

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