Diiv, Deap Vally, and PaleEdit this event
- The Dome, Doncaster »
The Vaccines might be the antithesis of cool in some quarters, but try telling that to the 2,000-plus souls who've braved the elements and made their way to a retail park on the outskirts of Doncaster this cold November evening. Having hit the number one spot in the UK album charts with second LP Come Of Age, it's little wonder tickets have been changing hands for up to five times the asking price weeks before tonight's sold out show. What's more, even though we're still roughly an hour away from doors opening, the stream of punters both young and old clamoring for a spot at the front of the queue (then the stage, once inside) has already reached dangerous proportions to the point where extra security stewards are drafted in to cope with the enthusiastically heaving mass.
Having recently sold out the 10,000 capacity Alexandra Palace while penciling in more Arena shows for next May, it's fair to say The Vaccines aren't going away anytime soon. And why should they? This is infectious, unpretentious, unashamed pop at its best. A homegrown outfit to be proud of, uniting all tribes and demographics in their wake. They also have impeccable tastes in music (Fugazi, Camper Van Beethoven and Slade providing just a selection of the songs on the band's mixtape prior to their arrival on stage) plus a habit of choosing excellent supports for their tours. Last year it was Smithwesterns, next summer they'll be sharing stages with The Walkmen, and here for this two-weeks long sojourn they've assembled an interesting package too. For the most parts at any rate.
First on are mysterious London-based duo Pale, who we're later informed contains a former (and founder) member of the headline act. Coming on like a moodier Big Pink with vocals not dissimilar to Hurts Theo Hutchcraft, comparisons to fellow executioners of sombre electronica The xx not exactly wide of the mark either. Closer 'Too Much' follows the deviant path formerly occupied by Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game'. It stands head and shoulders above the rest of the set. The potential undoubtedly exists. For the time being however, the rest of the songs don't. Watch this space.
Next up it's the turn of Deap Vally, first witnessed at this year's Latitude and to all intents and purposes, another outfit off the White Stripes/Black Keys/Kills/Band Of Skulls production line. Minus any of the songs, poise or charisma of either. Indeed, without resorting to misogynistic jibes about the aesthetic make-up of the Californian duo perhaps affording them more attention than any of their musical offerings merit, we'll leave it at that and move on swiftly.
Earlier this evening, Diiv's Z. Cole Smith will take us through the sixty-plus songs that didn't make the cut for debut long player Oshin, and thirty works in progress already demoed for the follow-up. However, tonight's set is purely about showcasing a record that's attracted universal acclaim as one of 2012's finest, and even the late omission of non-album single 'Geist' doesn't detract from a performance that's both shambolic in places yet utterly beguiling for the most part. Saying little in between songs other than to ask the audience if they really hate his band (!), Cole and Diiv rip through the likes of 'Past Lives' and 'Follow' as if their lives depended on it, while an extended 'Wait' and explosive 'Doused' make for a rousing finale.
It's left to The Vaccines to demonstrate why they're one of the UK's hottest properties at the minute. For a band that cause such divisive opinions at both ends of the spectrum, it is difficult at times to comprehend or justify the vitriol pointed in their direction. Sure, there's numerous reference points in many of their songs that will have Radiohead-worshipping music snobs tearing their overly stroked chinhairs out but that's just one of many adorable facets surrounding The Vaccines; there's no room for pretense. Despite their headline status The Vaccines don't outstay their welcome, playing the bulk of material from their two albums in little over an hour. What entails as a result is a musical adrenalin rush that shows little sign of abating from the first chords of opener 'No Hope' until the final strains of 'Norgard' close the encore and show simultaneously. Those in denial can paw over their Grizzly Bear records thanks very much. The Vaccines are all about excitement and at this moment in time they're in a league of their own when it comes to proffering such an endearing trait. And when all's said and done, what more could one possibly want from a Friday night's entertainment? Simply unmissable on this form. Long may it continue.
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