Following two decidedly lacklustre performances at the 02 Academy a year earlier, I was hoping that a trip to see Indie band The Vaccines would prescribe to my lofty expectations and be the elusive “third time lucky”. Almost, but not quite.
It’s difficult to feel too excited queuing in near sub zero temperatures on a rainy winter’s evening, but on the eve of my 18th birthday, I hoped the quartet would provide a memorable evening to the sell-out crowd in Newcastle. The band was returning to the city a year on from the undeniable success of their self-titled debut album, a concert I unfortunately missed out on due to the high demand.
After arriving early at the venue, my friend and I were able to get close to the stage, ready to endure what we thought would be a further two hour wait until the appearance of the much anticipated Vaccines. The supporting artists were sadly unexceptional, but in retrospect, atypical of supporting bands of their genre. The rather ambiguously named “Deap Vally” turned out to be two girls from New York, both proceeding to scream unintelligibly down the microphone for a good twenty minutes whilst watched by a bemused, predominantly teenage audience. However, hopes that the end of this band’s routine would cue the entrance of The Vaccines were vain hopes indeed: Deap Vally were followed by an equally uninspiring quartet, whose name I have unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) forgotten. Their set, although enthusiastic, overran considerably, leaving irate fans with a further half hour wait until quarter to ten and the true beginning of the concert.
Finally, The Vaccines made their late and irritatingly unapologetic arrival on stage, opening proceedings with the single from their “Come of Age” album, “No Hope”. Despite the rather melancholy title, “No Hope” is a peppy, rather uplifting track which was just the trick to engage the by now lethargic audience. Perhaps it was rather too engaging: by the end of the concert I can quite readily admit that I had been punched, kicked and pushed with reckless abandon for a good hour and a half. It certainly seemed to be “dress-down Tuesday” for the band; dishevelled denim and lank, centre parted hair seemed to be the style of the day, leading to a sarcastic remark ( “well at least they dressed up for the occasion” ) from me.
Despite my criticisms of the band, and certainly ignoring the over-enthusiastic adolescent spectators at the concert, The Vaccines truly do excel at performing live. All tracks, even the more obscure end of album songs indisputably went down a treat, with the crowd bouncing and belting out every word to each chorus. Unlike most other concerts I go to, I was pleased when this one in particular drew to its boisterous conclusion; if only for the fact that I was nearly too bruised and battered to function after a gruelling six hours of standing for The Vaccines. So, at the finish, a decidedly mixed experience, yet an experience nonetheless.
by Carole Saville © 2013
Carole Saville is an 18 year old student living in Cullercoats. She is currently studying A level English Literature, French and Psychology at Whitley Bay High School with a view to becoming a writer. Her interests include art, music, reading and writing.
Carole can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.