The Vaccines triumphantly returned to Blackburn’s King Hall this weekend, more than making amends for a cancelled gig back in January. On that occasion a broken barrier put an end to an energetic performance from band and crowd alike. It would be safe to assume that each would in turn maybe take this follow-up more carefully.


But how wrong can you be? This kicked off big style with I Can’t Quit from 2018’s Combat Sports and there was no let up here on in. Their songs are perfect for a raucous crowd. With the band drilled to perfection in performance and Justin Young leading proceedings they made sure the punters got their money’s worth. There wasn’t even as much chat between songs this time around because these men were here to do a job.

For me, The Vaccines appeared at a time when I wasn’t bothered about many other bands. Really short songs, that were loud and fun. Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) was so appealing and it sounds as fresh as ever tonight. The younger members of this crowd in particular were lapping it up.

It was preceded by Wetsuit, maybe a little too early in the night for me, but another undeniable anthem. I almost forget how much I love these songs. Whenever I hear them, it makes me want to stand on a chair singing the words arms outstretched.

Tonight’s a perfect reminder of that, and with every new album they’ve produced epic songs that will both make you dance and make you feel. Teenage Icon, Dream Lover and most recently All My Friends Are Falling In Love are further evidence of this.

The Vaccines could be called a British equivalent to The Strokes, with a delightful mix of music, style and now the longevity too. But they’re such an important band. And the crowd are mad for it – flares and everything!


January’s shambles was my first gig experience in Blackburn, and it was a real eye-opener with all the locals coming out for a good time. Let’s just say it was no surprise the fence fell down. And make of that what you will.

But the turnout does show how far-reaching The Vaccines are as just beyond the mosh pit of mostly 17 year old’s were 25-40 year olds, all equally as enthralled with the show that was unfolding.

So what did we expect from The Vaccines?

Justin as always gave us a theatrical performance similar to that of Jarvis Cocker as a frontman (and now being seen in the performances of Alex Turner); pulling off one dramatic pose after another, often playing out the lyrics with his hands, he delivers the story of a song direct to each member of the audience.

To take it one further, he’s a marching leader. As I said above, the band were like men on a mission but if you drown the sound out, Young almost looks like a rebel fronting a revolt against those on the other side of the political spectrum. Every word spoken with true conviction. Every one of us in that room hanging on his every word.

Power to the people! AND LONG LIVE THE VACCINES!

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