The Vaccines among highlights of NME awards Tour 2011
Buzz surrounding new band offering a trawl through six decades of rock history
Rock music, say recent reports, is dead and buried, with only three of the top 100 UK singles of 2010 falling into the category. Pummelled by pop and humbled by hip hop, that’s the once all-conquering sound’s lowest return in 50 years. The Vaccines, this year’s saviours of guitar music, have an uphill struggle ahead of them.
‘It’s all been exciting so far,’ says the band’s wild-haired guitarist Freddie Cowan, just out of bed and eating breakfast at midday. ‘When you start a band, you want to keep busy, you want to play lots of gigs. It’s been happening for us.’ While not quite overnight, their rise has been meteoric. Cowan (brother of Horrors synth player Tom) and singer Justin Young (formerly known as Mumford-friendly nu-folk artist Jay Jay Pistolet) started working on songs in a friend’s Ladbroke Grove studio in late 2009, and the four-piece live line-up wasn’t complete until June of last year.
Already the buzz has earned them a place in the BBC’s Sound of 2011 list, upcoming tours of the continent and America, and of course this slot on the NME Awards Tour. The debut single ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ drew comparisons to The Ramones, while March’s debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? boldly promises a trawl through six decades of rock history. ‘We took time writing it,’ says Cowan, ‘but it was recorded really quickly over a fortnight in November, when we’d come back from gigs exhausted. It was all about capturing a moment, because we felt really good about where we were at the time.’
NME Awards Tour at O2 Academy, Glasgow, Thu 3 Feb