Live Review: The Vaccines + The Belligerents + The Jensens – The Triffid, Brisbane (08.11.15)

The Triffid celebrated with a rock Sunday sesh last week. What better way to do it then with a visit from English rock band The Vaccines who are celebrating their latest album, English Graffiti? Joining them on the night were The Jensens and The Belligerents, both locals and Brisbane favourites of the Brisbane music scene.

The Belligerents lean more towards a synthy kind of pulse, playing local favourites like “In My Way” and “Voices”, while The Jensens probably linger a little closer to what The Vaccines have achieved. Sending out a relaxed blend of telling it how it is with great howling electric guitars.

But the crowd was hanging out the Brits in the room, and as the lights dimmed and the house music tuned out, the crowd surged forward to squish up in the air hangar-turned-concert hall.

You could see it all over their faces under the beaming stage lights how excited The Vaccines were when Justin Hayward-Young told the crowd this was their first ever headline tour. It seems the lead singer of the band tends to choose a character for each show. It takes a while for anyone to find his or her groove. Hayward-Young has tried energetic, broody and at this performance, suavely nonchalant. Whatever groove he settles on, it’s good to come along for the hectic, almost dissociative ride.

In the second half of the show, bassist Árni Árnason stepped up to perform a song. There were some awkward tech issues with microphones failing Árnason in the first verse, but once they chimed back in his presence was almost underwhelming in comparison. He was a dreamy-eyed modern day Iggy Pop come resurrected to send a lull over the crowd.

The hour long set covered everything from fan favourites to the latest album, English Graffiti. After the crowd bleated for an encore they always knew was coming, Justin Hayward-Young came back out by himself first and did an acoustic cover of “No Hope”. Fans had their lighters out swaying and then when security threatened to kick them out, they put on their torch app on their smartphones instead. But for one nostalgic moment, there was an eerie sense that rock of the old was back in The Triffid.

This was a Sunday [though] and a school night for young punks of all varieties, so the set that started quite early was over and done with by 9 o’clock. Unusual for a rock gig, but practical for the imminent Monday morning hangover destined for many hardcore fans. The Vaccines will be touring throughout Melbourne and Sydney before they return home for their UK leg of the tour. Hopefully you haven’t missed out.

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