The Vaccines- Cardiff University

Can posh boys rock?

Touring to promote their newly released second album, "Come of Age", the great white hopes of indie rock have come under attack from certain areas. Primarily their credential as a bona fide rock band have been questioned by the revelation that they are privately educated and stem from wealthy (and in the case of guitarist Freddie Cowan, uber-wealthy) families.

After all, rock music has long taken pride in the fact that its icons have fought their way to the top against all odds and adversity, dragging themselves kicking and screaming out of the gutter.

Therefore, accusations they have had it all on a plate have been levelled, especially as they were signed to their record deal by the husband of the NME's ex editor Krissi Murison (a publication that fervently supported the band). Still a privileged background doesn't appear to have done Mumford & Son any harm. Though having said all this, I doubt whether the sold out audience at Cardiff' University's Great Hall dwelled too much on the social standing of the band. They were having too much of a good time to care.

Strolling onto a relatively sparse stage, bedecked only with a giant negative image of the album cover, the band ripped into "No Hope". In an instant the auditorium came alive in a swirling mass of dancing and word-perfect singing humanity.

For me their debut "What Did You Expect from The Vaccines" is the stronger of their two release. "Wreckin Bar", for all its Ramones/Strokes inspired sound, is a great rock'n'roll number. Although I guess comparisons to other bands are ultimately futile as if you are under 21, as most of the audience appeared to be, they neither know (or care) about the questionable originality of the bands sound.

And so they blitzkrieg their way through the set with only the occasional pause for both the band and audience to gain breath. "Wetsuit" and "Teenage Icon" cause the pit to become an uncontrollable ferment of whirling dervishes, arms held aloft in maniacal praise of these bearded, long-haired, torch bearers of the UK indie rock scene.


"Blow It Up", "Lack of Understanding" and "Post Beak Up Sex" are reeled off in quick succession, with little or no inter-song chitchat from lead singer Justin Young. It did cross my mischievous mind that this may be an attempt not to highlight his rather pronounced upper class accent, or may just because he's shy.

And then, just as they seemingly appear to be getting into their stride, they unleash "If You Wanna " and are gone. Talk about hit and run! Returning for encores of "Bad Moon", and a barn storming "Norgaard", they were done and dusted in well under an hour.


So should the upbringing of a band have any bearing on their relevance? Realistically I think the matter its totally subjective. You can believe that nepotism diminishes the band's significance or just accept them for their musical output. Hell, who am I to criticise when my musical hero, The Clash's Joe Strummer, was the son of a British diplomat. And judging by the crowd tonight, they don't give a damn if the band were born with silver spoons in their mouths, they just love them for churning out good clean, three minute, rock tunes.

So can posh boys rock? Well on the evidence of tonight's gig then almost certainly they can.

Pix : Lydiane
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Memo to Cameron and Milliband, get a guitar and some skinny jeans and your popularity ratings might just go through the roof!