The Independent London Newspaper


Rock and Pop: Vaccines @ Electric Ballroom

Published: 14 April, 2011

THE Vaccines are not the first to find that being NME cover stars isn’t always a bed of roses. First praised to the heavens as the saviours of indie-rock, a few weeks later they find themselves caught in something of a backlash.

But all the excitement isn’t hurting ticket sales, with two back-to-back sold out shows at the Electric Ballroom, only weeks after playing ­Brixton with the NME Awards Show, as well as a recent gig at the Barfly. 

In the packed Ballroom they deliver a set of short, sunny, post-punk songs, played tight and fast, with more than a few catchy choruses. You can imagine there will be festival crowds in a few months’ time ­lustily singing back lines like: “If you wanna come back it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright if you wanna come back.”

What it isn’t, is wildly original. They tap into a long tradition of guitar rock, from the Ramones to early Ash and The Strokes (noticeably in the ennui of the chorus to Post Break-Up Sex), but it’s not clear what exactly is really new here.

Overall, some good songs, especially Blow It Up and the gleeful ­rampage of Norgaard. 

A decent show, but not really the dawning of a brave new world.


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