O2 Academy Brixton – November 26th
Having already conquered Alexandra Palace and the O2, anyone would think playing a 5,000 capacity venue would be a doddle in comparison. Yet, to play three consecutive dates at Brixton Academy is an accomplishment for any band in their own right and tonight’s finale inside the iconic venue walls proves that The Vaccines have truly reached the top of their game.
Prior to the headliners’ performance though, we welcome to the stage four teenagers from Merthyr, who go by the name of Pretty Vicious. The four-piece have already received critical acclaim supporting the Manic Street Preachers and a headline slot at Glastonbury, with the oldest members only reaching the ripe old age of 18. The feisty group stand their ground and manage to command attention during opening track It’s Always There, which sends a few front members of the crowd pogoing up and down.
It’s refreshing to hear a band so young create a sound that’s different to everything else being given radio play right now, with their punk infused with Arctic Monkeys-esque blend of raucous and unapologetic youth explosions sending a ripple of excitement into the audience. However, clearly having technical issues with the microphone, lead singer Brad Griffiths is drowned out over the rest of the band and unfortunately the remainder of the set is completely lost behind a blended sea of noise.
Pretty Vicious’ tried yet failed attempts to get the crowd behind them only show how, sometimes, age can actually matter and that experience on the road is often required to really drive home a successful sell out show.
The Vaccines appear onstage confident and ready to lift up Brixton’s spirits, as the band are clearly already warmed up and enjoying every second of their third night in the venue. Hits such as ‘Teenage Icon’ and ‘Ghost Town’ early on into the set gives the fairly rowdy Thursday night crowd an excuse for a singalong, as lead singer Justin Hayward-Young pulls enthusiastically poised shapes across the stage.
Throughout the night’s entirety the band are almost faultless, as their songs are well executed, with procession and passion that prove they have built up the power and fan-base force behind them to hold a performance of anthem powered hits over Brixton Academy.