Vampire Weekend battle technical problems to play ‘special’ ice rink show

Band play on at free gig despite a power failure

Vampire Weekend overcame a power failure to play a free gig at the ice rink at London‘s Somerset House last night (January 14) to mark what frontman Ezra Koenig called a “special week” for the band.

With second album ‘Contra’, released on Monday (January 11), battling to top the UK album charts this Sunday (January 17), Vampire Weekend packed out the venue’s courtyard for the early evening show, which also saw a large number of fans skating around the venue’s tempoary ice rink during the set.

The band used the unique show to showcase a host of new album tracks including recent single ‘Cousins’, ‘Holiday’ and ‘White Sky’ plus crowd favourites like ‘A-Punk’ and ‘Oxford Comma’.

However, seconds into penultimate song ‘Horchata’, the venue’s power cut out on the band, rendering them almost inaudible. While technicians tried to fix the issue and the ice rink was cleared for safety reasons the band played on unaware, only to be told of the problem at the end of the song.

With microphones initially not working for the next song either, the band – who played from a balcony above the audience – could do little but wave and shrug their shoulders to the audience, though drummer Chris Tomson used the break to take a photograph of the crowd.

However after roughly 10 minutes, technicians were able to power the PA meaning the band could be heard, albeit quieter than before.

“Well fuck, that was unfortunate,” Koenig told to the audience, before apologising for running over schedule.

“What kind of rush are you in?” he joked. “Dinner plans? You going to see a movie?”

He then thanked fans for bearing with the band, and launched into Vampire Weekend‘s “goodbye song”, a raucous rendition of ‘Walcott’, which saw the crowd boosting the volume by singing loudly along.

Vampire Weekend played:

‘White Sky’
‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’
‘California English’
‘Oxford Comma’

Vampire Weekend then headed to the Kingston Hippodrome venue to play a late show at clubnight New Slang.

Check NME.COM this Sunday at 7pm (GMT) to see whether ‘Contra’ tops the UK album chart.

The band are also playing a special London show tonight at Rough Trade East, before playing a DJ set across town at Visions Video Bar on Kingsland Road.