The Vaccines (The BIC, Bournemouth – 30/11/15 ) ★★★★☆

By: editor

Having toured extensively and playing alongside acts such as The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Muse, it is now Bournemouth’s turn to house West London formed band The Vaccines for the evening. Coming on to pounding drums and distorted bass chugging, things are looking good for those hoping for a wild live set from these indie heroes. Frontman Justin Young comes charging on to the stage, seemingly ready to get this party started…only this enthusiasm doesn’t last long.

It soon becomes apparent that this is a band too cool for smiles, as many bands of their genre are. It’s a shame because the music is tight as anything, the sound is spot on, the lights are fantastic…the band just don’t seem to want to be there. That is apart from lead guitarist Freddie, he’s loving life!

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if backstage he was one of those annoyingly enthusiastic band members who want to do everything, the others just go along with it to keep him quiet.  He’s rocking out, he’s wearing his trusty perma-grin. This would be The Freddie Cowan show if Justin wasn’t so darned good looking…the ladies love this guy!

When they’re upping the tempo, The Vaccines are on fine form. It’s all very pub-rock, one can’t help but picture student nights out with beer lead sing-alongs, but it’s fun (to listen to at least). They don’t choose to keep up this momentum though, soon in to their set choosing to stick with the slower, moodier songs from their collection. One or two here and there are fine to break up the set, but this lull seems to drag on for way too long. It’s really not helped by how fed up almost everyone on stage looks (hang in there Freddie, this is your night!). Whenever Justin isn’t required to sing or play guitar, he turns his back to the crowd and wanders around looking like he just dropped his favourite coffee mug. At one point he even takes a seat on the drum stage while he waits for his next part. Obviously, if he was seriously rocking out and putting on a show, he’d be forgiven for taking a quick breather…but with the level of enthusiasm I’m seeing here, it looks more like he’s just had enough.

They do eventually emerge from the mid-set dullfest and try to kick some life back in to the songs, and the songs have no problem doing so. It’s still just blissfully unaware Freddie who’s making the most of his time on stage though…

The Vaccines are a good band, they do what they do really well and most of the crowd love it. It would just be nice to see some personality, don’t make it look like it’s a chore to play to these people who have paid to see a band they love. Justin, maybe say a bit more than “hello” and “this next song is…”. Everyone, just take a leaf out of Freddie’s book, he’s showing you all up.

All in all, an Indie-Rock fans paradise, just not so much mine. But credit where credit is due. It is clear tonight that The Vaccines have a strong following that enjoyed themselves this evening, so they must be doing something right? despite the lack of charisma shown on stage.

It’s clear The Vaccines are fantastic musicians and my personal highlights of the evening are I Always Knew and If You Wanna, both anthems played with musical precision. These tracks taken from the 2011 and 2012 albums What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? and Come Of Age truly showcase The Vaccines; raspy vocals and booming drums complimented by a sprinkling of roaring guitar riffs to top it all off. More songs like these please.

★★★★☆

Also you can check out photos taken of the night right here! – enjoy.

 

 

 

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