Live Review: The Vines – Newtown Social Club, Sydney (14.04.16)

Craig Nicholls‘ reputation precedes him. As The Vines’ lead singer, he’s been through a lot over the years, but tonight, the music is the focus. We’re treated to stripped back versions of the laid back Vines’ songs, as well as a few covers (spoiler alert, there was no “Ms Jackson”), and the night was enjoyable for all of the hardcore Vines fans lucky enough to be there.

The set was slow, but not boring, and gave Nicholls a chance to really show off his vocals and guitar playing. The sound was flawless for the whole night, an important quality to have when playing an acoustic show. If Nicholls was nervous about playing to a crowd, it didn’t show.

He chatted between songs and was clearly grateful for the praise he was receiving from the crowd, with many saying things like, “You’re fucking awesome!” and, “Fuck Radiohead.” He played a new track, “Broken Heart”, which was popular despite not many people actually knowing it, but the old hits were the best received. “Autumn Shade”, “Homesick”, and “Mary Jane” from Highly Evolved were big standouts, as well as “Winning Days” and “Spaceship”. All inspired loud singalongs from the crowd, and long trips down memory lane.

The encore was made up of three covers, a brave rendition of John Lennon‘s “Working Class Hero”, Suede‘s “Crack in the Union Jack” and finishing up with the beautiful and haunting “The Crystal Ship” by The Doors. True to form, he threw his guitar on the ground, the only thing he could really do without a drum kit to smash it on, and walked off.

I have loved The Vines for years, and seeing their songs stripped way back to just an acoustic guitar showed their strength. Craig Nicholls was on full display and we all adored it. Let this maybe be a sign that The Vines will tour together again soon, so we can continue to enjoy their music and their talent completely.

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