At Brighton’s Concorde 2 last night (January 19), The Vaccines made their comeback show to a crowd of mere hundreds ahead of third album ‘British Graffiti’. It was a cracking night, but what did we learn of Young’s mob circa 2015? Here’s what…
1. IT’S FAST FORWARD TO THE RETRO-FUTURE
“It’s a lot more future-sounding,” Justin Young said of the new Vaccines album ‘English Graffiti’, and judging by the four new songs the band premiered, he was shitting us only a little. There’s certainly a synthetic slickness to the 50s prom rock of new single ‘Handsome’ and ‘20/20’ that made them sound like Buddy Holly parties in Xanadu.
2. THEY’RE NOT SUFFERING FROM THIRD ALBUM SPRAWL
By the time most bands reach album three, they’ve enough songs in the bag to start thinking they’re The frickin’ Cure or something, and start stretching their sets to 90 minutes. Not so, The Vacs. Their early shows barely broke the half hour mark, and they’re still cramming their breakneck hit blitz into just shy of an hour.
3. THEY’VE BEEN LISTENING TO ‘AM’
The first new song of the night, ‘Dream Lover’, was a lizard-like lounge rocker that smacked of flicked hips, curled lips and Turner’s lacquered quiff. The future, friends, is clearly boudoir rock.
4. THEIR APPEAL HAS BECOME LESS SELECTIVE
When they say ‘all ages…’ Down the front, students are complaining about the sixteen-year-old maniacs moshing their shins off down the front, while this writer is accosted by a headbanging middle-aged lady during ‘All In White’ who points at the stage and yells “I’m his auntie!”
5. THEY’RE A WELL-DRILLED MACHINE
Time was The Vaccines could barely stay in time for a 90-second song and Justin’s vocals had all the solidity of a soggy-bottomed blancmange. Five years of hard touring and arena ascendance later, they’re utterly faultless, ripping through ‘Post Break-Up Sex’, ‘Blow It Up’ and ‘Teenage Icon’ with roaring, ragged confidence.