Posts Tagged ‘The Vaccines’

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.

Water-absorbant tents, clodhopper wellies, obscure flags and mudbaths galore. Yes, the summer festival season is in full swing and the crappy British weather cannot even begin to dampen our enthusiasm. Glastonbury’s Pyramid has already enchanted and T in the Park was again served in true alfresco style. Here are some festival highlights so far:

Chase & Status – Blind Faith………… (West Holts, Glastonbury; King Tuts, T)

The Strokes – New York City Cops………. (NME Stage, T)

Friendly Fires – Kiss of Life (Other Stage, Glastonbury; NME Stage, T)

The Vaccines – If You Wanna………… (John Peel & Other Stage, Glastonbury; King Tuts, T)

Queens of the Stone Age – No One Knows……….. (Other Stage, Glastonbury)

Mumford & Sons – The Cave……….. (Other Stage, Glasonbury)

Tom Jones – It’s Not Unusual………… (Main Stage, T)

@ Don Valley Bowl


Arriving at the Don Valley Bowl, one would be forgiven for thinking the venue was playing host to a travelling circus. A giant marquee – last seen enclosing BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend – had been raised to cover the Arctic Monkeys’ twin evening concerts. The Bowl, situated in the backyard of Sheffield Ice Arena and the Don Valley Stadium which hosts the city’s half marathon, was primed. Tonight’s two hour headline set is equally testing but the Sheffield sensations successfully avoid a slip-up here.

First up shortly after 6 o’clock are the Steel City’s own Dead Sons. Considering the band’s first gig was only last July in a sweaty and packed DQ, as part of Tramlines 2010, they have progressed markedly. The five-piece act includes ex-Milburners Tom Green and Joe Rowley whose vocals are Tom Meighan-esque. Here they provide a vintage, night-warming support slot notable for a lack of audience interaction. I Am The Lord and Junk Room stand out in particular, encouraging the first moshing with their shades of Kasabian’s electronica backed by thrashing cymbals. This lot could be very good.

The Vaccines take to the stage next providing a welcome injection of indie pop prowess. They are currently riding the wave of their hype-driven debut record What Did You Expect…? which alike the Arctic Monkeys’ first effort was brought a week forwards on release. Tonight the London four-piece treat us to 7 numbers including the 87 second romp of Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra). Justin Young’s vocals are strangely anthemic on Wetsuit – possibly the first ever song written about donning aquatic swimwear. The highlight though is a riveting run-through of If You Wanna, a trademark indie track already on playlists in the likes of Bungalows and Bears.

To complete the support acts Miles Kane swaggers on to a raucous reception while gesticulating for more decibels. “We are very happy to be here” says Kane, a scouser, who some variously label as Alex Turner’s doppelganger or musical alter-ego. The ‘other brother’ in the Last Shadow Puppets make-up proceeds through 10 of the 12 songs off his debut solo LP Colour Of The Trap which peaked at an agonising number 11 in the UK Albums Chart. Ending with the catchy single Inhaler, Kane’s set leaves few breathless but it certainly pleases the fluorescent adolescents within the heterogeneously-aged crowd.

Four months waiting and finally it’s the turn of the Arctic Monkeys. Waltzing on stage to Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing, Sheffield’s prodigal sons embrace their homecoming crowd. “Tonight there’ll be some love” Alex Turner promises during the evening’s opener The View From The Afternoon. With Turner sporting a t-shirt featuring the Sheffield City Council emblem, tonight’s gig indeed bears all the hallmarks of an affectionate reunion. “Who’s from High Green?” he later quizzes the 10,000-odd faithful herded into the band’s specially-erected tent, to a decent response.

The selection of The Full Monty title track is a stroke of genius. It immediately has the expectant fans boogying and in full voice which is important after their poorly received 2009 Reading & Leeds headlining performances. And to further silence those doubters the Monkeys blister through an opening quartet of “early” songs including the wall of sound that is Brianstorm and the irresistible solos of Still Take You Home.

The term “early” is now synonymous with the pre-Humbug era of Arctic Monkeys discography. That Josh Homme-influenced third album recorded in the Mojave ironically deserted a substantial proportion of the Arctic’s fanbase and is thus reflected in the inclusion tonight of only three numbers from its sleeve. Conversely the material from the newly released fourth attempt Suck It And See blends in seamlessly. The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala in particular complements the chimes of Cornerstone and a rare, celebrated acoustic version of Mardy Bum, when the Monkeys decide to “slow things down”.

The bulk of the set leans on the first two albums with Nick O’Malley’s basslines reverberating around the tent interior on Teddy Picker and If You Were There, Beware. It doesn’t take a sharp eye to tell that the youthful exuberance and passion are absent from the inevitable renditions of When The Sun Goes Down and I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. The quartet must loathe playing the two club-adopted classics but are well aware that a riot would ensue in the event of their exclusion. When Kane surprisingly returns to stage there are excited whispers of a Last Shadow Puppets cameo but the wishful thinking is swiftly dispelled. Cue instead the spine-tingling 505 with Kane on guitar.

Fittingly the night closes with A Certain Romance, signalled by Matt Helders’ rumbling drums. Turner chuckles when chewing his lyrics on the last verse. “Oh I don’t care” he wanes, but neither do the adoring masses who rejoicingly recite for him. “It’s been an honour Sheffield” says the departing Turner. The feeling is mutual duck.

Rating: 9 out of 10

This review was published by Sheffield Scenester and can be found at:

Were you there? Is this a fair reflection of the gig?