live review... The Vaccines
Last time The Vaccines played Cambridge was 2011 with only one album under their belt. Last night they returned to the Corn Exchange, touring with their third album and charmed the crowd with 21 songs spanning their entire career. Palma Violets' tremendous support slot gets the crowd fired up and raring for their headliners. As The Vaccines begin with opener from their newest album, Handsome, there are screams and cries throughout the venue. Straight into hit Teenage Icon, there are people on shoulders, a sea of grinning faces and a general cheerful atmosphere that The Vaccines seem to create amongst everyone in the crowd.
Old favourites mixed with new ones all keep the crowd moving their feet and waving their arms whilst front man Justin Young seems to do the same with his stage posing and crowd interactions. The way he engages with the audience, the looks on his face and the consistent enthusiasm from the whole band despite being near the end of a tour just shows their love of what they do and it's clearly reciprocated by the crowd's reaction.
The Vaccines have been named a nostalgic band by many people, particularly with songs from their first album, What Did You Expect from the Vaccines? Each person looks as though they've sung the words with so much meaning, forwards, backwards and now directly to the band themselves. Justin introduces one which this applies to more than any other with, “last time we were in Cambridge was 2011 and everyone sang along then.” They break into Post Break-Up Sex and just as he predicted, everyone sings along every word.
They rip through Give Me a Sign, Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) and 20/20, quickly proceeded by an exhausting I Always Knew and bring the crowd even further up with If You Wanna. They end on All in White where they carry everyone through with hands in the air and rough voices. Shouts for an encore and hand claps don't last too long before Justin comes back on alone with an acoustic guitar to perform a quieter version of No Hope. We're Happening, the B-side of Post Break-Up Sex follows and then smoothly into a closer which has become tradition for the band, a joyful rendition of Norgaard.
Overall The Vaccines are just one of those bands that bring about happiness and a good time and after this tour with English Graffiti they look as though they're securely keeping that reputation.