Live Review: The Vaccines // Rock City, Nottingham 27.03.15

The Vaccines are back and my god are they better than ever. I would love to tell you how great Jay Jay Pistolet’s vocal performance was, but unfortunately I can’t because I could barely hear him over the hyped crowd.

In what was the most enjoyable gig I’ve ever been to, The Vaccines brought their A game and delivered an unstoppable set-list of exclusive new tracks and old fan favourites. I had heard from friends that The Vaccines are incredible live, so I was worried that they wouldn’t live up to the hype. But, the moment they strutted on stage and Pistolet screamed “ROCK CITY!” just before busting into ‘Teenage Icon’, my worries were knocked out of me by the surging crowd.

The immediate transition from ‘Teenage Icon’ to ‘Wrecking Bar’ sent the already amped crowd into a frenzy. The sold out Rock City was shaking as the 2000+ fans jumped in unison singing as loud as they could. This was just before The Vaccines performed the first of four songs that are going to be featured on their new album ‘English Graffiti’. ‘Dream Lover’ which was debut at the NME awards earlier this year combines a grinding guitar riff with soft vocals and calm harmonies. The second new song featured was ‘Want You So Bad’ which saw Pistolet grace an acoustic guitar to perform the funky drum and bass driven tune.

After 2 new songs, The Vaccines gained the crowds unlimited excitement with ‘All In White’ and ‘Post Break-Up Sex’, a song that Pistolet proclaimed that they had “first played live years ago when we were first on a four band bill.” which led to ‘Melody Calling’ and the third new track ‘Handsome’. ‘Handsome’ harks back to the sound predominantly heard in What Did You Expect… which got the crowd jumping around as if they had released the track years ago.


The final stages of the main set-list meant that The Vaccines unveiled the sing-a-long hits one after another. ‘Blow It Up’ followed by ‘I Always Knew’ followed but the prodigious ‘If You Wanna’. Jay Jay’s performance was second to none, grabbing the crowd and balancing them in the palm of his hand. Pistolet got so absorbed in ‘If You Wanna’, that he dove through the drum kit head first, landing into Pete Robertson’s lap.

After a brief break, The Vaccines returned with an encore of 2 songs, 1 of which was another new song ’20/20′, an exciting upbeat track that has a Vampire Weekend meets The Jam feel to it, very much looking forward to hearing the album version of this tune. Finally, the group finished their set with ‘Norgaard’, sending the crowd into one last fit of hysteria before exiting and leaving the audience amazed at the what they had witnessed.

For anyone undecided on whether they should see The Vaccines live, do it, even if you don’t like them, go see them. Outstanding performance from the band equalled only by the sell out crowd.

Words by Alex Leadbitter 

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