The Vaccines and GlaciersEdit this event
- The Harley, Sheffield »
For London-based singer/songwriter Nicolas Burrows, whatever can go wrong this evening does. Already nervous at the prospect of playing his first ever show with this group of ever-expanding musicians, his Glaciers project looks doomed to fail before it even gets off the ground. Which is a shame as putting aside all the bum notes, tuning issues and technical faults - he accidentally treads on a lead halfway through the final song thereby disconnecting it from his guitar - doh! - there are moments where he and his band sound like the missing link between Grizzly Bear's sumptuous harmonium pop and Spectrals lo-fi doo wop.
Having already found themselves on the receiving end of hyperbole levels not witnessed since the likes of The Strokes and The Libertines emerged onto an unsuspecting public a decade earlier, it's little wonder The Vaccines look a little edgy, suspicious even at what lies ahead for them. Without wishing to take anything away from the headliners, it would be fair to say that a large proportion of tonight's audience are here to see the capital's latest "buzz band", a fact highlighted by the way people clamour around the tiny stage until there is literally nowhere left to stand. Even the bar staff appear to have stopped serving for the twenty-five minutes or so duration of their set, such is the fervent anticipation which surrounds them, and from the moment the four Vaccines arrive on stage there's a pert attentiveness from each and every one of the assembled throng. While their musical back-to-basics approach draws comparisons with the likes of The Ramones ('Wreckin Bar'), The Clash ('Norgaard') and The Jesus And Mary Chain ('If You Wanna') at various interludes, it's the sheer adrenaline of their performance - not to mention the seeming tension between frontman Justin Young and fellow guitarist Freddie Cowan - that makes The Vaccines such an enthralling proposition, even at this early stage of their development. Sure, they already have almost as many detractors waiting for them to fall as those proclaiming them to be some kind of next big thing, however, all nine songs they charge through this evening display a trait so often lacking with many of their more musically adventurous yet personality bypassed peers - passion. Enjoy the ride, however long it may last, as it's sure to be a bumpy, and undeniably exciting experience.
While following arguably the most talked about new band in Britain would be a daunting prospect for many, for Jack Tatum and Wild Nothing they simply take it in their stride. And why shouldn't they? After all, it's not every day when your band can claim to have created one of the records of the year, but with inaugural long player Gemini Wild Nothing have achieved such a feat. Having made their UK debut at this very venue earlier this year courtesy of DiS, their return is greeted like a veteran's homecoming. Tatum and his three cohorts, visibly overwhelmed at such a reception, launch into 'Your Rabbit Feet' with such gusto that guitarist Nathan Goodman threatens to blow his pedal board, its static crackle felt by those standing in the front row at the right hand of the stage. Although based in the US state of Virginia, Wild Nothing's sound both on record and in the flesh is very much dominated by English bands of the past. Indeed, blink an eye for a second and one could be forgiven for thinking Johnny Marr was on guitar and Simon Gallop playing bass, what with many of the songs being structured in a similar vein to the classic era of The Smiths and The Cure. Add Tatum's lyrical observations and vocal styling to the mix and there's more than a subtle hint of Bob Wratten's work with both The Field Mice and Trembling Blue Stars, yet at the same time such startling compositions as 'Chinatown' and 'Summer Holiday' carry their own hallmark of quality that highlights their creator as one of the most promising songwriters of his generation. By the end of their set, all four members of The Vaccines are watching intently, no doubt transfixed by Wild Nothing's ethereal beauty. More importantly, tonight's show ably demonstrates that the guitar isn't ready to be consigned to the history books as an afterthought just yet.
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