Vaccines on lethal form at Reading & Leeds

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Festival
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Reading & Leeds NME tent has a rich tradition of spawning the latest talent. A few years back Pendulum, Vampire Weekend and later Florence & The Machine all made their impact.

This year it’s The Vaccines and Justin Young’s blaring lyrics of Wetsuit and Eh-eheh-eheh-eh-Eleanor. Their highlight is a cover of pre-punk band The Standells’ 60’s number Good Guys Don’t Wear White. Tom Furse AKA Tom Cowan of The Horrors delivers a Stranglers sound with the quality keyboard riffs echoing of No More Heroes.

Cue Norgaard. The triumphant two-and-a-half minute set-ender is such a Ramones-esque romp, spontaneous yelps of “Blitzkrieg Bop” are expected at any moment.

Click here to watch interactive highlights.

Good Guys Don’t Wear White is at 21:30.

  1. rt2011 says:

    I’m seeing these in November and this has just made me very excited.

  2. EmSwanson says:

    Alright, living in the UK I’m assuming you get yourself along to a lot of festivals (or at least a couple). What I want to know is, what are some of the best? I really want to travel next year to either the US or the UK and will base my trip around a festival/wherever Paul McCartney is touring (kid you not) and would love to get the low down on some of the festivals from a native.

    Reading & Leeds?
    T in the Park?
    Isle of Wight?
    BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend?

    I can’t think of any others at the moment, but I’m leaning towards ones that are almost certain to have a good line-up as I’ll probably plan my trip around going regardless of who’s there. Anything you can tell me about any of them would be great and I’d appreciate it like nothing else. I also didn’t know where to post this, so I figured your Reading & Leeds post would be a good start!


    • thereviewer says:

      Hello! I am a native Pommie haha. You sound like a Beatles addict, I can’t promise Sir Paul will be at any festival next year but keep your finger’s crossed.

      Out of the biggies I’ve actually only been to Reading festival. For me it was a bit rough and ready plus it attracts quite a lot of teens, some younger – which you may or may not care about. What’s more in terms of hygiene it was absolutely revolting. Cannot complain about the bands on show though, even if slightly Americanised.

      Glastonbury is a guaranteed good line-up! It is huge and it has a very friendly, hippy-classic reputation. Incidentally Glasto’ is having a break this year so next year’s bill is sure to be special.

      T in the Park is usually very good in terms of bands, rock mainly, although it is Scotland so expect rainwater to splash persistently into your afternoon cuppa!

      Isle of Wight again has a good billing, just take a glance at this year’s…haven’t got much to report stories-wise for that one though. Bestival (also held on Isle of Wight) is another worth looking at.

      V festival and BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend are more mainstream festivals featuring, as you can expect, pop artists and any kind of radio-friendly ear candy. Just to let you know, BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend moves about the country from year to year. Not sure when it is announced where it will be staged next year – tickets are very hard to get hold of as they mostly go to locals!

      Hope this helps you, enjoy your trip – when and if you choose the UK over the US! I would be very interested to hear your recommendations on Australian festivals also!

      Ta ta

      • EmSwanson says:

        Haha yes, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a fan of Sir Paul. The last time he toured Australia was in ’92 or ’93 (I probably hadn’t learned to walk) and I’ve been dying for him to get back here. Even if he’s not at a festival, hopefully he’ll schedule some shows that I can try and get to.

        Thanks so much for your details on each festival! I really appreciate it. Truthfully, they all sound great 🙂 I think I’d be happy to go to almost any of them.

        As for Australian festivals, there aren’t too many and most are one day and horrendously expensive (most around 100 pounds for the day), but some can be quite good. One thing that sucks about being on the other side of the planet is that it’s too much of an effort for most bands to get here.

        Soundwave – My personal favourite. It’s your rock/metal/punk/alternative festival. It’s held in our summer and it’s always a bloody hot day, but the line-ups have been getting bigger and better.
        Here’s a link to this year’s poster:

        Big Day Out – Has unfortunately been on a bit of a downward slide recently. In the mid to late ’90s and early ’00s it used to be quite grungy and a heavy festival, though now it’ll have mainly new-age indie bands with a few rock ones. Kanye West was even there this year? Yeah, I don’t know either. Apparently they’ve just partnered with Lollapalooza though, so next year’s line-up should be better. Also held in our summer and a stinking hot day to be had.

        Parklife/Stereosonic/Future Music – These are all dance music festivals that attract the worst kind of people. Can’t say I’ve ever been to one of these and I can’t say I’d ever want to go. Unless you’re into DJs and dance acts, I’d avoid these ones. Too many shirtless guys pumped up on steroids that think they’re ‘fully sick’. Exhibit A:

        Splendour In The Grass – Probably our best three-day festival. It’s held halfway between Sydney and Brisbane in Byron Bay. Google it, it’s seriously beautiful. This year the line-up is actually really good, there’s Smashing Pumpkins, Jack White, At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, The Kooks… Thought about going, but it’s fairly expensive. (Around 230 pounds and then you have to factor in accommodation).

        Byron Bay Bluesfest – Held in the same place and your token blues and roots festival. It looks great if that’s your kind of music, but there’s never been enough drawcards for me to justify going. If you’re into guitars, this one would be great. Heap of old people too. A really laidback sort of crowd.

        Falls Festival – One of the few other 3-day festivals. It’s held over New Year’s and is your hippie/indie sort of festival. It’s always a lot of Aussie bands, so it probably doesn’t have too much international appeal.

        This suddenly became a lot more long-winded than I had hoped, so sorry for the epic read!

        • thereviewer says:

          Your words are much appreciated Em!

          Looked up Splendour In The Grass, the bill looks top notch, a vintage renewal this year! If only I’d have known about it earlier. Another plus point is that it takes place in your winter (generally hotter than a UK summer from what I understand!) I know Aus can be baking so to chill whilst spectating would be a grand combination. Jack White is also probably the only artist in the world right now I would consider paying over the odds, £50 plus to watch! Godly saint in my eyes.

          “Exhibit A” haha, I did laugh at that! Ok, I will steer clear of those dance events in that case. Soundwave looks like an equivalent of Download festival here (one I failed to mention), metal/alternative music. Check Download out actually, it’s one of the first festivals of the year in June normally. My friends went a couple of weeks ago. Guaranteed rubbish weather, mud-baths but strong line-ups. here was this year’s bill:

          Falls looks pretty smashing as well: Arctics, Aloe Blacc, Kooks & Metronomy in 2011! Joan Jett, Interpol, Editors & Lykke Li in previous years…roping in the acts doesn’t seem to be an issue there either! Hippie/indie is right up my street too, wouldn’t mind having a snoop around Tasmania whilst there, have you been? Is there a localised accent?

          On a tangent, I have met plenty of Australians on travels/work this year… you all seem SO friendly, welcoming and laid back about life. From pictures too I have never seen an angry-looking, overweight Australian (a problem afflicting many Brits). Sorry to break this to you and make stereotypes about our populations!

          Thanks again for your comment, and apologies for my latest lecture.

          • EmSwanson says:

            To put things in perspective, we’re in the middle of winter and it’s 14 degrees and sunny, with not a cloud in the sky. Though, be prepared to hear everyone whinge about it being cold (when really, in comparison, it’s anything but).

            Oh I heard about Download this year (via Twitter and other such things). The line-up looked pretty good, though truth be told, I’m not really into metal. Kind of funny considering I write for a magazine that specialises in it, but I prefer more punk or alternative. When I go heavy, it definitely isn’t considered ‘metal’ haha. Most of those bands would be cool to see though… Ones like Metallica and Black Sabbath (and I REALLY want to see The Prodigy at some point).

            The first announcement for Falls Festival was released today and so far it’s:

            The Flaming Lips
            Beach House
            Best Coast
            Boy & Bear
            The Vaccines

            They’re doing that drip feed thing that I hate with festivals. I don’t get why promoters can’t just announce everything at once?

            As for Tasmania, geographically, it’s gorgeous. I went down for for a water polo team (years ago now) and we got to roughly explore things. From memory it wasn’t very “happening”, as in, there isn’t much of a nightlife, but I know there’s some really nice bars and there’s cute outdoor markets on Sundays that they’re famous for. They used to have a Cadbury chocolate factory which you could do tours of (utter highlight as you get tonnes of free samples haha) but I think they stopped doing them which is a shame. As for accents, I wouldn’t say there’s one. Nothing like the accent change you guys seem to have in England. I guess in more rural areas people speak a bit slower, you know, with more of a drawl, but I probably couldn’t tell different states apart.

            Oh if you’ve met Aussies over there, they’re bound to be friendly. They’re probably about to embark on a Contiki trip or they’ve moved over there to live for two years (really common thing to do. I assume there’s countless Aussies working in your pubs and bars). We have overweight people too, though they rarely look angry. I read something recently saying we’re the fifth fattest nation in the world. Now there’s something to be proud of. Actually, one of my uni lecturers was British and he’s one of the most sarcastic people I’ve ever met. Though, he did seem to think that his grim outlook on things was due to living in England where it rained constantly. Two things: does the constant rain suck? (Is it constant?) And, do you really drink warm beer? Asking the real tough questions here! Haha.

            Ditto about the lecture.

            • thereviewer says:

              First and foremost let me say that I am envious of your Aussie winters! Yes, it does more or less rain constantly here. June 21st is supposed to signal the beginning of summer yet since that date I have not seen the blue sky for longer than one hour. As for warm beer hmmm, I think traditional ale drinkers like their proper dark bitters/stouts warm, especially in bottle form. Most lager drinkers though, such as myself, much prefer a chilled pint. Two questions: 1) Is Fosters a totally non-Australian invention? 2) Is the unit of alcohol a pint in your land? Sarcasm and the British tend to go hand in hand. Too much can be tiresome, peppered around though and it’s a funny sort of dry humour.

              My thoughts exactly about Download. For me the colours black and white will forever be associated with it.

              As for Falls Festival, I am green with jealousy. Best Coast are very good if memory serves and this post lets you know what I think of The Vaccines ^^^ ! Have you heard their new single by the way? Pretty catchy, typical them.

              PS: sorry about Bernard Tomic & Sam Stosur’s below par performances at Wimbledon this year. We love Lleyton Hewitt in England though, we want to adopt him the little critter. Genuinely great guy as well! Do you follow the tennis avidly or is it a cricketing bonanza down under?

              • EmSwanson says:

                Fosters is definitely Australian, but I don’t know anyone that drinks it and would be hard-pressed to find someone who’s even tried it. Much more popular overseas than it is here (if it’s even popular at all. I’ve heard it’s rather shit actually). If you’ve tried it, we have better beer than that, I promise.

                We do have pints, but more often than not we have schooners (425mL). If you go to German brewhouses though (German pubs? Not sure if brewhouses is a real word) you can get steins (a litre) which are always fun. Again, a rare treat that we all tend to get into when it’s Oktoberfest.

                Oh Best Coast are amazing. Did you hear their new album? It was a cleaner sound than their first one but still that same fuzzy, lo-fi sort of vibe. I don’t normally like female musicians all that much, but I love her.

                Haven’t delved into The Vaccines all that much but I know I should. They’re catchy and sound super British (not a bad thing). I’ve always been a sucker for musicians with accents. I love that they’re a bit of a throwback to an earlier time too. I think you guys have modern indie rock down to a fine art.

                Are you a fan of Tame Impala at all? Aussie psychedelic rock band. You know, that hazy, wow-these-guys-must-be-tripping-on-some-serious-acid type of sound. They just brought out a new single today and they’re releasing their second album later this year. I think I’m just a little bit keen.

                • thereviewer says:

                  Fosters beats most other crappy lagers on sale here: Carling/Grolsch/Stella make me want to vomcano on hearing their names :S I’m more a connoisseur of Dutch/Polish beers anyway! What else do you have? All we have heard of is Castlemaine/XXXX!

                  Schooners and steins do sound fun! Is a schooner not a ship? Maybe it’s the choice drink of sailors. Brewhouses… why not? Language evolves!

                  Only heard snippets of Best Coast actually, remember liking their vibe though. Quite like the racket produced by this Tame Impala lot! Touches of Arcade Fire and perhaps even 60s rock n roll, (dare I say The Beatles?), in there.

                  My Aussie band vocabulary is seriously lacking, help me out here! All I have is Jet and a band called Velociraptor if you have heard of them… The British do nothing better than indie rock, rubber stamped ours! Well actually we are pretty good at cycling too.

  3. EmSwanson says:

    Sorry about the late reply! I checked it on my phone and then completely forgot about it when I got back to a computer.

    Ahhh beer… I can’t say I’m a huge connoisseur. It’s all good to me! We’ve pretty much got access to everything though. I love the lighter beers like Corona (Mexican), Little Creatures (Australia) and even Budweiser (American). There’s one liquor store chain here that stock stuff from all over the globe. Dan Murphy’s. GREAT store. Great selection of everything.

    Best Coast are good. Maybe an acquired taste for some as her voice is a bit on the whiny side, but I’ve always loved musicians that are like that (I absolutely ADORE Liam Gallagher.. despite the whole “he’s a bit of a wanker” thing).

    Oh yeah.. the vocalist for Tame Impala sounds really similar to John Lennon on a lot of their tracks. They have a side project band called Pond who are quite good as well.

    Jet actually called it quits a few months ago! I’ve heard of Velociraptor, but haven’t really listened to them. A few Aussie bands I’m liking at the moment are:

    *Pond ( They’re Tame Impala-lite, but still really impressive for a side project.

    *Royal Headache ( Grungy kinda garage rock. Nothing too heavy. It’s quite boppy actually.

    *Sures ( Young indie pop band that sound quite ’60s (I’m really into music that sounds ‘old’ at the moment, if you haven’t already guessed haha)

    *Deep Sea Arcade ( Only recently found these guys. More light indie rock.

    *Sonpsilo Circus ( You say it “sun-sigh-low”. These were one of my favourite finds of last year. I think they’ve only released an EP out, but it’s psychedelic ’60s and I love it.

    Also, from what I’ve seen, you’re damned good at rowing! In a few of the races I’ve watched, we’ve gone 1-2 with you guys. Killing it.

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