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Reading 2012 Review: The Vaccines

This time last year, The Vaccines took the NME stage by storm on the summit of their hype wave. Since then they’ve been catapulted to third on the bill with a new album, they see it as time to come of age. The signs were all positive in the build up – a Main Stage crowd packed to the rafters with screaming fan girls. The band blasted with rapturous energy through the opening numbers and despite some dubious vocals, they could do no wrong for the baying crowd. The Achilles heel of all recent indie bands has been rediscovering their popularity with the dangerous second album. It’s too early to tell, but I find it hard to imagine a crowd reacting to Teenage Icon in the same way as Nørgaard at future concerts.

Their high profile slot was met with bemusement by many and they certainly had a point to prove. Compared to the cheeky swagger of Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson – the man occupying the same slot the day after – Justin Young’s frontman abilities are still in the foetal stages. Watching him stagger around murdering his own Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) it’s clear they aren’t playing this late on artistic merit. But nevertheless, the army of indie fans drown out any off-key notes and the old hits are received to adulation. From the shoe gaze vibes of Wetsuit to mournful raunchiness of Post Break-Up Sex, the atmosphere builds until they unleash If You Wanna to send the festival into frenzy. No one cares that it’s the same three chords, that each drawn out note is crucified because they have an annoying effect of being damn good fun. I’ve seen them one way or another five times now and this seemed a million miles away from their triumph in the tent, but they’re received in exactly the same way. An average performance of average songs and you’d think The White Stripes had just brought the house down. Joe Pape

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Author: david

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