reviews... - April 4, 2018 reviews... The Vaccines @ O2 Academy Bristol
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows. reviews... The Vaccines @ O2 Academy Bristol

Their new album Combat Sports hit shelves on Friday (March 30th) and we caught The Vaccines in full celebration mood at their show in Bristol...



The Vaccines back on their first extensive UK tour in three years in promotion of their fourth album Combat Sports.



The first stop of their tour tonight is in the Academy right in the heart of Bristol.


Any good supports?

Dream Wife are a real treat just before the main act. Releasing one of the strongest debut albums of the year so far, this British band are full of guts and urgency, mixing fast, discordant punk with the artier edge of early Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is most evident on hard-hitting songs like 'F.U.U' and 'Let’s Make Out' which close their set. I think it’s clear to see that they will be a prominent force for the foreseeable future.


Was it full? And how were the crowd?

The sold-out crowd take a couple of songs to warm up, but once they do, they don’t stop until the end of the night.


So what was the set like? What did they play?

When you see a band enter the stage to ABBA’s 'Waterloo', you can just tell it’s going to be a fun gig. They open with a brace of songs from their new album Combat Sports in the form of Nightclub' and 'Surfing In The Street'. These can be seen as somewhat of a warm-up for the crowd before 'Wrecking Bar' and 'Teenage Icon' really start to living things up.

The energy remains high during the older material including 'Bad Mood', 'Dream Lover' and 'Wetsuit'. It’s the former of these which provokes the biggest reaction and is a theme of the night with the songs from their debut album being the favourites amongst the crowd tonight. Particularly during a delightful trio of 'Post Break-Up Sex', 'Nørgaard' and 'A Lack Of Understanding' midway through the set.

In terms of their new material 'Out On The Street' sounds like something that 'The Strokes' could have easily released. The same goes for 'Your Love Is My Favourite Band' which you can already imagine listening to in a festival field later in the summer. However 'I Can’t Quit' is one of the best singles they’ve released in years. It captures the early punch their early material has along with a chorus which is so contagious that...(Insert your own 'Vaccine' joke here).

Of course, they aren’t going to finish without their biggest song. 'If You Wanna' builds the tension with an extended intro before the crowd lose themselves into it. One of the quieter moments of the night comes during 'Young American' with Justin Young’s vocals only being accompanied by an acoustic guitar. An unfortunate attempt to clap along in the crowd sadly goes a little wrong halfway through but is jokingly acknowledged by Young at the end of it. Everything finishes with 'All In White' which is still probably the strongest song they’ve written as a band. They may have been away for a while, but they are now back and more relevant than they have been in years, but what did you expect from The Vaccines?

Did they put on much of a show?

With the addition of a new fifth member, it gives lead singer Justin a greater opportunity to be more of a frontman; appearing to be channelling Morrissey at times with his on-stage actions. A massive glitterball is also a nice little touch that illuminates the room.


What was the highlight of the set?

The small burst of energy that is 'Nørgaard' is the meat sandwiched between two other fine slices from their debut effort. It’s arguably the one song that sees the biggest reaction from everybody tonight.


Where can I catch them next?

The tour travels all over the UK stopping off in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow amongst others all culminating towards a huge show at London’s Ally Pally. They’ve also got a busy festival season ahead including some big slots at Reading and Leeds Festivals at the end of the summer.


The Vaccines' new album Combat Sports is out now and available here in hmv's online store. 

Combat Sports
Combat Sports The Vaccines

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