Live Review: VANT // The Lexington, 02.02.16
VANT at The Lexington on a Tuesday night, because everybody deserves those mid-week guitar enthused, boy band treats once in a while right? And VANT certainly are a treat to watch. Clearly so, with a sold out gig in one of London’s finest indie music venues in the busy inner city business hub that is Angel on a week night.
Mattie Vant, the band’s front man and name-sake, makes for a dynamic front man. Not only because of his obvious passion for the lyrics that he writes, and sings, but also his uncanny ability read his audience and get them going, even early (they’re on at 9:15pm for a 10pm curfew but naturally over run) on a Tuesday evening when those of us with normal jobs are trying to stay sober for tomorrow’s 9 to 5. Armed with a set cleverly interspersed with loud, anthemic hype songs destined for bigger venues – such as ‘The Answer’ and their biggest single ‘Parking Lot’- and slower, more sombre vocals for change, everyone quickly warmed to the night.
VANT, too, warmed to their audience throughout the set, with Mattie coming down into the crowd to play among fans for a segment of one of their songs, and later instigating a stage invasion that saw the majority of the people lining the front of the venue packed onto the reasonably small stage with the guys, complete with one of the girls being invited to shout the band’s lyrics into the guitarist Henry Eastham’s microphone. The sound the guys created somehow remaining entirely unaffected by these developments, somehow maintaining a bubble of its own both inclusive and encouraging of the events on stage, but focused on quality rather than entirely giving over their set to the craziness that ensued around them.
Their audience interaction, needless to say, was inspiring in itself. Both for those down for the mosh-pit that occurred under Mattie Vant’s subtle indication that we’ll ‘know when to lose it’ and those head bobbing at the back, there simply to see serious talent at work.
These guys proved on Tuesday that they are so much more than four guys who make incredible music. They have the crucial combination of lyricism, performance presence, professionalism and purpose to take what they do all the way. They are intensely passionate about what they’re saying, acutely aware of their audience and place, but – perhaps most importantly – exist to have a good time and ensure others that attend their gigs do so even more.
Words by Lucy Temple