The Vaccines, Electric Ballroom, 7 April 2011

Camden Town. Punk’n’roll show in front of a sweaty and riotous twenty-something crowd. No, it’s not The Clash performing circa 1977, it’s The Vaccines trying to establish themselves as indie rock saviours. Mission accomplished? Honestly yes. What had to be one of the hottest gigs of the spring eventually turned into something special, bubbly and lively.

Ok, we can forgive the lateness of the performance. Gone are the days when gigs promptly started at 9.00-9.15pm. The super-nervous crowd had to wait after until 10 o’clock to see Justin Young and co. kick off with Under Your Thumb.

Needless to say, songs such as the hysterical Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) and Post Break Up Sex were as anthemic as Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova once were in Manchester; but we are in the London Borough of Camden, where a certain type of British punk rock is still rooted in the streets.

Obviously a venue such as the Electric Ballroom is going to be too small by this autumn for a band that will certainly perform in a much wider forum (I don’t dare say the word arena yet, this might be far too early…) but tonight all the boxes have been ticked.

Lively gig? More lovely than lively. The Vaccines still remain cute indie rockers  who happened to become big all of a sudden.

Rave performance? Considering the amount of personal belongings left unattended on the dancefloor (a wallet, a necklace and a mobile phone to name but a few) and the 40 minutes of punky pogo, the four shy Londoners certainly know how to rock the show.

Last but not least, next big thing? Two Door Cinema Club were tipped a year ago, Arctic Monkeys five years ago and Franz Ferdinand much earlier. Why not The Vaccines? Why not a band that’s got tunes, charisma (don’t be fooled by Justin himself: the man might look like your daddy or your neighbour, but he knows how to warm up the public) and humbleness. This is a band ready to sprout its wings any time soon.

If the Vaccines are going to burn like The Holloways or any other ‘The’ band around it’s because of a lack of interest. Bear in mind, we are still in the midst of the hype. But for now, we can’t help but sing at the top of our voices: “Her mind’s made up, she don’t wanna go steady. She’s only 17 so she’s probably not ready”.


By Silvia Rucchin


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