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The Vaccines @ Mountford Hall, Liverpool Guild of Students — 22/11/2012

By Amy Minshull
The Vaccines @ Mountford Hall, Liverpool Guild of Students — 22/11/2012

“Happy Thanksgiving!” shouts The Vaccines’ singer Justin Young to a packed Mountford Hall. “I don’t know what it is but we just had a lot of food.”

It would be difficult for a band with The Vaccines’ arsenal of super-singles to ever put on a disappointing performance, but their first ever Liverpool gig proves that the band are even better live than they are on record, which is definitely something to be thankful for.

Support band Diiv (formerly Dive) provoke somewhat xenophobic booing when they bring up the American holiday, but the New Yorkers nevertheless excel in setting the stage for the main act with their intense, shoegazer fuzz.

As The Vaccines explode with a flash of strobe light into their new album’s lead single, ‘No Hope’, the crowd joyously sings the refrain “there’s definitely NO HOPE!” in a frenzy of pint-chucking usually reserved for muddy festival fields. It is no surprise they’re excited, as the band display a raw energy in their performance that just isn’t there in the polished, finished versions of their two albums. The atmosphere is electric and The Vaccines don’t pause for breath as they keep the songs coming, including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it version of pop perfection ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’. Their lyrics may not always be the most eloquent or insightful, but this doesn’t stop a couple of thousand people bellowing along to choruses such as “Put a wetsuit on/ Come on, come on” (‘Wetsuit’).

The evening makes it clear that new album Come of Age is a definite step forward from the simple, two-minute gems of What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, with the sweet, sixties melodies of songs such as ‘Aftershave Ocean’ and new single ‘I Always Knew’ proving that the band have not fallen into ‘difficult second album’ territory. Songs from both albums are combined effectively in the setlist, from the high octane rock n roll of ‘Ghost Town’, ‘If You Wanna’ and ‘Change of Heart Pt. 2’ to the slow build-up of ‘Blow It Up’ and the anthemic ‘Post Break-Up Sex’.

Finishing their riotous encore with fan-favourite ‘Norgaard’, (everyone loves a chorus that spells out a girl’s name) it is clear that The Vaccines really come into their own in a live environment, playing enthusiastic rock ‘n’ roll and best of all doing it well.

Tagged: review, music, liverpool, cool

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