Vampire Weekend’s set at the ULU in London was brought to a premature halt tonight (21 Feb) when a fire alarm went off half-way through the band’s set.
The four young New Yorkers were ambling through stand out album track ‘The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance’ when their sound was cut and a klaxon sounded along with a recorded message instructing the sell-out crowd to evacuate the London University venue.
One disgruntled audience member loudly declared that he’d seen Paul Simon set off the alarm as he had been “scared” by Vampire Weekend’s performance, while others were heard to point fingers at both the band’s label XL – worried, apparently, as the band “didn’t have enough songs for an encore” – and the Hawley arsonist.
As a fair slice of the city’s student population who weren’t hassling tube goers for their rag week gathered on the pavements opposite the union bar, a number of known attendees, including Felix and Orlando of the Maccabees and BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, had their cover blown. A fire engine came hurtling and wailing and there was an interval of just under quarter of an hour before the jostling crowds were funnelled back in.
But while the crowd had filtered out of the show through various fire exits they were only allowed back into the ULU through the main entrance on Byng Place, leaving those waiting patiently at others at the back of the queue and causing aggressive confrontations with security staff.
The band returned to the stage with a version of Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’ before continuing with the rest of their set.
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