The Vaccines performing their English Graffiti tour at The Capital FM Arena on Friday 20th November 2015

Images and review by Kevin Cooper

Competing with the switching on of the Christmas lights in Nottingham’s city centre, The Vaccines may have been the losers as a seemingly small crowd stepped out to see them play at the Capital FM Arena last night.

With red Chinese lanterns looming overhead; backed by multi-instrumentalist Tim Lanham, and a snazzy light and projection design, the band, with matching white guitars, stormed onto the stage to rapturous applause from a crowd who were more than ready to get rocking, to deliver their opening number Handsome from their latest album, English Graffiti.

From the second song, Teenage Icon, the crowd were in the palms of frontman Justin Young’s hands, as they sung along to The Vaccines perfectly crafted indie pop stompers. With the energy of Duracell bunnies, they launched into their set and there was no let up until things were slowed down a little with Wetsuit, an uncharacteristic folk number that turned into a deafening sing along, whilst Post Break Up Sex was alive with robust energy.

Young owned the stage during old Ramones like number, Wrecking Ball (Ra Ra Ra), and dropped to his knees to gesture for more applause to the delight of the audience for Give Me A Sign. Showing that they are all about short catchy songs which you can’t fail to enjoy, new album tracks 20/20 and (All Afternoon) In Love were very well received.

There was the glam stomping Dream Lover which has shades of 80’s band Tears For Fears, and the slow burning sultry Want You So Bad. For the encore there was just Justin and an acoustic guitar belting out the heartfelt No Hope, which provoked a communal spine tingling sing a long, before they finished with set closer, Norgaard which sent this appreciative audience home in a frenzy.

For those that have followed the band from being a twinkle in the eye of some radio stations in 2010, and have watched them emerge from being a support act to headlining at the Arena, it is clear that The Vaccines have gone from strength to strength. But they are not the tightest band that you will ever see, with Young’s singing in particular being at times questionable with the volume wildly fluctuating, and the sound being way too loud. But they are endearing in a chaotic sort of way, and we wouldn’t have them any other way.