The Vaccines / Tom Odell / Kodaline Live Review
MTV Brand New: For 2013, Electric Ballroom, London - 21/01/13
Tonight’s invite-only gig saw the likes of One Direction’s Made In Chelsea’s Muse to Mumford And Sons to the sort of anthemic lighters-aloft indie that Embrace scored with in the ’90s. Steven Garrigan’s falsetto and mastery of many instruments - he takes on a mandolin, guitar, keyboard, harmonica and tambourine during the first four songs - are captivating.
Next to take the stage, and already anointed with this year’s Brit Awards 2013 Critics’ Choice Award, is 22 year old Tom Odell.
Odell perches piano level for the full half-hour, but for the most ivory-thumping moments, notably the raucous second half of Another Love and pounding next single Hold Me, he rises up and furiously smacks his piano like he’s banging a broken TV.
Odell’s genuine passion is euphoric for everyone and the set is rounded, complete.
There is plenty of fervour and pace - Odell’s spirited soul balances with his occasionally fragile and pained vocals, which echo Chris Martin at his most melancholic.
Finally headliners The Vaccines, who know the pressures of being ‘ones to watch’.
Within a year of forming in 2010, the West London four-piece were lauded by magazines and DJs and had a slot on Later With Jools Holland - all before they’d even released a single.
They’ve now scored two top five albums in 18 months - and their biggest ever headline tour, including London’s O2 Arena, is scheduled for May.
On the surface, especially live, they are all vim and fire, but The Vaccines’ charm is in their subtle versatility. There are glimpses of all decades of rock in their sound, from ’50s beat music and ’70s punk rock to a 21st century Strokes-like alternative buzz.
They open with all guns blazing with 2012 single No Hope - and it’s a relentless frenzied ride from there, with frontman Justin Young hurtling himself across the stage through Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra), Post Break-Up Sex and Ghost Town.
It’s a breathless, furiously energetic spectacle - and an exhilarating finish to a fantastic evening.