The Vaccines @ Madame JoJo’s, London 30/11/2010

December 1, 2010 by  

This time last year nearly every music publication and blog (admittedly, including this one) were busy gushing over the latest next big things, The Drums, and how wrong we all were. This time around those same dewy eyed hacks have turned their affections to the latest NME starlets, The Vaccines.

Shrouded in mystery, the London quartet have only released one single and leaked two more onto the internet. This shroud has served them well, as the clutch of shows they’ve played were all nearly sold-out and their début single Wrekin’ Bar sold-out on pre-orders alone. So, all this begs the question; are they any good? Judging by tonight’s performance the answer has to be…NO! Well, for now at least.

Crammed onto the tiny stage in Madame JoJo’s, The Vaccines, who arrived 15 minutes late to perform for just double that, played through a set that barely had enough material to warrant the hype. Apart from the already aired Wreckin’ Bar, If You Wanna and Blow It Up, their set was too languid and at times frustratingly haphazard.

It maybe down to their surf style, but the band play so lethargically on many of the tracks you couldn’t help but find yourself being bored of the simple riffs and lack of movement on stage. At times they did try to stir from their statuesque positions – during one brief flurry they even try to strike a Clash-esque pose, but in their tweed trousers and dodgy shirts they look more ‘Push-bike Petes’ than ‘Clash City Rockers’. And once this pose is quickly abandoned they are back to their apathetic stances, which on the right faces could pass as rock’n'roll nonchalance, but on these fresh mugs they look more like rabbits in the headlights.

But, just when I, and seemingly the rest of the crowd, are prepared to banish them to the indie bin for good, lead singer Justin Young mumbles ‘this is our last song, it’s called ‘B…’ and then up leap the band for a short burst of energetic-indie-punk reminiscent of the Ramones that changes everything, but then with barley two words they scuttle of the side of the stage.

Clearly a confusing set from a band that could already be feeling the pressure, and find quality material a little too thin on the ground for a headline set. Hopefully in six months or so they should have the songs and the presence to warrant the hype, but at the moment they fall short of the hefty expectations that surround them.


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