The Vaccines came to Southampton as part of their extensive UK tour this month, greeted by a sold out crowd at the o2 Guildhall.
Jesse Jo Stark kicked off proceedings on the night. With musical influences from the 50’s and 60’s merged with provocative punk rock/rock and roll, JJS has a unique style.
Opening with her single Wish I Was Dead, Stark captivated the Sunday evening audience and set the bar high for a set full of punchy riffs, classic rock and roll and country vibes, with the energy continuing into Lost Boy. After these, followed a soulful and stirring performance of Dandelion and Mystery, where a voice particularly reminiscent of Lana Del Ray.
Clearly a natural talent, the Californian singer/songwriter easily blends her retro influences into her fresh new sound. With a fantastic mix of energetic punk, country and twist of psychedelic pop, she has created her own genre. The inspiration for her songs being love, death and colour were apparent in performances of Breakfast with Lou and Fire of Love. There was also a solid cover of Kim Carnes’ 1981 track Bette Davis Eyes.
She has collaborated with Dan Taylor of British alt-punk group The Heavy and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols (to name just a couple) and is proving herself to be a very talented singer/songwriter in her own right – one to keep track of over the coming year.
Next up came Aussie singer/songwriter and bassist, Hatchie (Harriette Pilbeam). With her warm melodic tones and dreampop vibes she produced a strong performance onstage and maintained the atmosphere ready for the main act.
Then it was the turn of main attraction The Vaccines, with lead singer Justin Hayward-Young on a return to his hometown. Arriving on stage to Queen’s I Want To Break Free, Justin frequently engaged with the audience and other band members during what was a high energy fast-paced set.
The setlist contained a good mix of old and new tracks entertaining and encouraging the audience to sing along to most songs, with some of the older tracks going down somewhat more enthusiastically than the newer ones. All My Friends Are Falling in Love however, was extremely well received and the crowd delightedly joined in when asked for assistance by Hayward-Young.
Setlist: Your Love Is My Favourite Band / Teenage Icon / I Always Knew / Dream Lover / Wetsuit / Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) / Out On The Street / Post Break-Up Sex / Nørgaard / Let’s Jump Off The Top / All My Friends Are Falling In Love / Take It Easy / Handsome / 20/20 / No Hope / If You Wanna / I Can’t Quit / Rolling Stones // Put It On A T-Shirt / Nightclub / All In White
Review & photos by Ant Penny
The Vaccines – Your Love Is My Favourite Band (Live Session)
Jesse Jo Stark – Wish I Was Dead