THE VACCINES play gigs all over the world, but last night they came home to Southampton.

(A review by Richard Derbyshire)

The indie stars, fronted by New Forest born and former King Edwards student Justin Young, returned with a shock and awe performance.

While fresh from supporting The Rolling Stones at St Mary’s in May, this was their first time at The Guildhall since their debut record tour in 2011.

Then, they were riding high as the breakthrough band of the year after releasing What Do You Think of The Vaccines?

Now, with three more top five albums, they were back with a sold out show and a set of songs that make them one of the most enduring bands in Britain.

I have seen Sheffield and Manchester bands play homecoming gigs in some of those cities’ biggest venues and this one ranks alongside them.

Songwriter Justin, lead guitarist Freddie Cowan, drummer Yoann Intonti, keyboard player Timothy Lanham and bassist Arni Arnason showed the strength of their set list by playing killer singles I Always Knew and Teenage Icon, plus several favourite first album songs, within the first 30 minutes.

They had more bangers in their armoury, including tracks like Take It Easy and I Can’t Quit from their latest hit Combat Sports.

Here is a band who know how to capture timeless rock and roll, catchy hooks and infectious lyrics. It may be why they are the only band from outside Yorkshire playing Elland Road with The Sherlocks and Kaiser Chiefs as part of Leeds United’s centenary celebrations in June.

Justin kept mainly to the music, whether on guitar or singing solo. “I’ve lost my voice so I’d like to borrow yours,” he asked the crowd before launching into first album track Post Break-Up Sex.

Perhaps modesty prevented him reminiscing how, in 2013, the band stepped in to play a benefit gig to save his old Southampton music haunt, The Joiners, but he still warmly acknowledged his home city.

After introducing the rest of the band - Arni from Reykjavik, Tim from Australia, Freddie from London and Yoann who lives in Monaco – he raised a big cheer by adding “and I am Justin from Southampton.”

Not for the first time, The Guildhall crowd sung the introduction to the song Wetsuit, although perhaps tonight it was even louder. Meanwhile, new song Let’s Jump Off the Top quickly won everyone over to the delight of the band. “Not bad for a Sunday night in Southampton,” quipped Justin.

Earlier the evening, Aussie songwriter Hatchie and American singer Jesse Jo Stark drew big early crowds with some stunning numbers. Expect to see more of them soon.

The Vaccines return to the south as one of the big names at Victorious Festival, Southsea on August Bank Holiday weekend. This tour finishes at The Roundhouse in London later this month. They play Elland Road with The Sherlocks and Kaiser Chiefs in June.

The Vaccines at Southampton Guildhall set list:

Your Love is My Favourite Band

Teenage Icon

I Always Knew

Dream Lover


Wreckin’ Bar

Out On The Street

Post Break-Up Sex


Let’s Jump Off the Top

All My Friends are Falling In Love

Young American Interlude

Take It Easy



No Hope

If You Wanna

I Can’t Quit

Rolling Stones

Put It on a T-Shirt

Night Club

All in White