Opening the evening was Icelandic duo BSĺ who performed an assortment of politically driven and vocally haunting tracks from their politically defiant debut album ‘Sometimes Depressed…But Always Anti-Facist.’ The duality of their album is further proof of the band’s musical malleability, producing a variety of songs that, in spite of each track’s individuality, consistently succeed in delivering their message. It was impressive to witness how multitalented the duo are, producing such a high energy sound with only the two of them playing instruments.
As the lights rose upon the stage and their set commenced, their genre-defying sound saturated the hall and complemented the further excitement to come. To call BSÍ the calm before the storm would be a disservice to the genuine talent that the support act showcased and the crowd’s infatuation with their infectious and distinctive presence.
Following the last drum beat and perfectly timed guitar riff, the stage plummeted into darkness and the anticipating wait for the headliners to take to the stage began.
Indie fan favourites, The Vaccines, graced Gloucester Guildhall with a sell-out gig as part of their Back In Love City tour. Formed in 2010, The Vaccines have had an illustrious run, producing five successful studio albums, the latest being Back In Love City which was released in early September.
A 400 person capacity, though a smaller crowd than they’re used to, added to the intimacy and culminated in a greater connection between artist and audience. Lead singer, Justin, although (we hazard a guess) no longer a teenage icon, carried an aura of (quite literally) wide eyed and childlike excitability with his larger than life stage presence, while the band demonstrated their years of experience by producing a perfectly executed and note perfect set. The band are currently working in partnership with the national lottery’s Revive Live scheme, along with other artists, to promote the return to music venues following a hapless eighteen months for the music industry.
The set list included a mix of old and new songs including: ‘Headphones Baby’, ‘Your Love Is My Favourite Band’ and ‘Post Break-up Sex’, with the older selection sparking a strong sense of nostalgia within the crowd. The extent of the Vaccines’ impact as a staple indie band is not inconspicuous; the crowd belted out every lyric to older songs ‘Wetsuit’, ‘Post Breakup Sex’ and ‘If You Wanna’ with conviction.
After a few attempted mosh pits (to the despair of the security) and a final rendition of the explosive ‘XCT’, the lights dimmed and the crowd erupted, enriched with the experience of exceptional live music but still hungry for more. To their surprise, under the promising glow of a spotlight, the pulse of the drum at the hands of Yoann Intonti reignited the room and he was soon joined by the rest of the band for a wholly appreciated encore.
The highly energetic ‘Wreckin’ bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ was the ultimate choice, allowing fans to emit all remaining energy into singing along with the catchy first track from the album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’. Following this, the familiar guitar introduction of ‘All In White’ breezed down the hall, providing one last sing-your-heart out moment before the show concluded.
Looking around during the last few moments of the gig and seeing people of all ages celebrating the familiar essence of an anthemic tune with such great enthusiasm was a reminder of the inclusivity of music, and just how diverse the vaccines fanbase is. For some, this being a first post-covid gig was proven a consuming experience, as arms were flung over shoulders and plastic cups raised, an appreciation for the ability to be out, surrounded by friends, in the presence of live music was felt by all.
The Vaccines, soon to be taking the stage again, will be promoting their new album Back In Love City in April next year. Including a roster of great venues such as the SSE Arena Wembley and O2 Victoria Warehouse, we’d highly recommend buying yourself a ticket and taking the time to see them live.
Words: Ella Green
Images: Liv Green