Review: The Vaccines start UK tour in style at Hartlepool’s Borough Hall

The Vaccines play Hartlepool's Borough Hall. Photos by Marie Westmoreland-Thornhill.
The Vaccines play Hartlepool's Borough Hall. Photos by Marie Westmoreland-Thornhill.

IF that was just the warm up, then fans of The Vaccines are in for a treat during the band’s latest UK tour.

The award-winning indie rockers chose the Borough Hall in Hartlepool for the first gig of their trip around our shores.

They were greeted by more than 1,000 music fans who were delighted to see the four-piece back in the North-East and following in the steps of Frank Turner and Morrissey by rocking the town’s Headland.

The indie band, who have been nominated in the past for Brit and NME awards, are well known for their fast-paced anthemic songs - and they did not disappoint as their energetic sound reverberated around the historic building.

After forming in West London in 2010, the band have gone from strength to strength with their live performances a must for upbeat music fans.

Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra) and Norgaard were instant playlist must-haves, while punchy songs like If You Wanna? were lapped up by radio stations.

Those songs, from the album What Did You Expect from the Vaccines, are all brilliant live and seem to have been written with intimate venues like the Borough Hall in mind, although someone might want to check the cement in the bricks after some of those bass lines.

The follow-up album Come of Age, with singles such as Teenage Icon and I Always Knew, and their latest release, Handsome, mixes (in the band’s own words) a host of 1950s style rock ‘n’ roll and pop music.

It’s a unique combination that brings momentum and oozes style with lyrics that are easy to pick-up and - with the Hartlepool show as evidence - simply great for singing along to!

New songs Dream Lover, Want You So Bad and 20/20 joined Handsome among the 15-song set that finished with a rousing rendition of Norgaard.

It’s a real compliment to any band when the crowd picks up and fires back the chorus, but fans at the Borough Hall also sang every verse.

The tour looks set to be a big success as it will see The Vaccines playing similar exclusive intimate shows, visiting some regional towns and cities for the first time. It suits the bands style and audiences will love the atmosphere their music generates.

The Vaccines last toured the UK in May 2013, when they played a run of arena shows, including the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena in London.

More arena dates are expected once the as-yet-unnamed album is released, so the Hartlepool gig is a real coup for the town.

Hopefully similar gigs will follow - and The Vaccines will be back in the North-East soon.