The Vaccines are back with their charged up fourth album Combat Sports, which signifies a return to form for the London band after a difficult couple of years spent in flux following a semi-experimental third record coupled with founding member Pete Robertson quitting in 2016, but the group have returned stronger with the addition of two members and look to be enjoying a new lease of life in this new chapter for them.
Far Out went down to Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Friday night to see Combat Sports in action which is suitable considering The Vaccines spent half of last year recording the album in the Steel City at McCall Sound Studios with local producer Ross Orton who has previously worked with legendary acts such as Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A., The Fall and more recently The Moonlandingz.
This date was the first gig to sell out on the tour which shows the love that there is for them here with front-man Justin Young informing the crowd that they drove past this venue everyday on their way to the Attercliffe studio where they made their new record.
Support was from the fiery Dream Wife who are the perfect warm-up act for a gig like this with their 30-minutes which jammed full of energetic fast-paced bangers taken from their raucous self-titled debut with set-closer ‘F.U.U.’ ending their hectic set in frantic fashion.
This Brighton band are one you need to witness live to appreciate fully and have rightfully earned themselves a reputation for being a brilliant live act – check out their full tour dates below.
Now it’s time for the main-event, with the new look Vaccines line-up opening with ‘Nightclub’ – a stand-out track from Combat Sports which successfully gets the crowd amped up before the Londoners burst into the blink and you’ll miss it 81 second wonder ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ which serves as an epitaph for their set which lasts little over an hour.
The group manage to squeeze in seven tracks from their new record which all slotted in to their set seamlessly unlike tracks from their hit and miss third record which stick out like a sore thumb next to the rest of their body of work.
New tracks ‘Surfing In The Sky’, ‘Put It On A T-Shirt’ and comeback single ‘I Can’t Quit’ were all received lovingly from the Sheffield crowd who sang and chanted their hearts out all evening.
Similarly to a lot of bands The Vaccines have struggled to follow-up the commercial success of their platinum-selling debut which sound tracked masses of people’s formative years and still sounds as brilliant now live as it did then, with the biggest crowd reaction of the evening coming when they played the opening riff of ‘Norgaard’.
Following a 19-song set which truly flew by and after a short break the group returned to the stage for a three-song encore which takes us back to the beginning with a trip back to their first record on ‘All in White’ – which is perhaps the group’s finest song and a beautiful way to end an entertaining night of thrilling music from two awesome bands.
Dream Wife Tour Dates
21 Birmingham, All Years Leaving
22 Glasgow, Art School
24 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
25 Leeds, Wardrobe
26 Manchester, Gorilla
27 Coventry, Central Library
29 Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
30 Brighton, Concorde 2
31 London, KOKO
The Vaccines Tour Dates
5 Live At Leeds 2018, Leeds
01 Community Festival, Finsbury Park, London
12-15 Latitude Festival, Southwold
24 Leeds Festival
26 Reading Festival