REVIEW: Moshpits on a Wednesday, in Cambridge? The Vaccines and Palma Violets delivered a raucuous and rowdy Corn Exchange show last night

The Vaccines at the Cambridge Corn Exchange

The Vaccines at the Cambridge Corn Exchange - Credit: Archant

Tonight’s line-up is more a double headliner as both bands are easily capable and big enough to pack the Cambridge Corn Exchange in their own right.

The Vaccines are set to play at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Wednesday November 25.

The Vaccines are set to play at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Wednesday November 25. - Credit: Archant

Pocketfuls of teenagers down the front bounce in unison to ‘Step Up for the Cool Cats’ and fan-favourite ‘Best of Friends’.

Crashing drums, guitars and screaming vocals - if you were feeling a tad sleepy before the gig then Palma Violets put an end to that early on.

“We’re gonna try something a little more different and it involves an acoustic guitar”, is a rare sentiment from wild guitarist Chilli Jesson, but for ‘Jacket Song’, they briefly slow things down to a hug-your-friends festival vibe.

‘Danger in the Club’ fastens the pace tenfold, igniting a mid-crowd moshpit in the process.

Palma Violets

Palma Violets - Credit: Archant

Set closer ‘Tom the Drum’ takes the crowd back to the buzz-band hysteria when it was first circulating around the music blogosphere…a heavily impressive opening slot, paving the way for headliners The Vaccines.

The night before a massive show at the 02 Brixton Academy, the west-London five-piece make time for a raucous and rowdy Cambridge stint.

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With a stadium-ready set-list in their aresenal, there’s scarcely a moment of boredom. Instead, a lot of rollicking, short and snappy rock ‘n’ roll smashes, like ‘Handsome’ and ‘Teenage Icon’, which get the show off to an energetic start.

Slowing it down a little bit for ‘Dream Lover’ after Justin bellows “hello Cambridge”, the anticipation builds and builds as the opening chord of ‘Wetsuit’ rings out.

Phones recording, vocals being tested and arms stretched, their increasingly charismatic front-man scales the front of the drum-kit to recite the much-loved lyrics.

“Okay Cambridge, we’re gonna test your memories now”, he later says, before ‘A Lack of Understanding’; though the crowd need no reminding.

Similarly, ‘Blow It Up’ and riff-heavy ‘Bad Mood’ get the whole crowd bouncing.

“The last time we played Cambridge was 2011…” Justin muses. “So Cambridge on a Wednesday night, lets see how it goes. You should know the words - I know you’re all very studious”, Justin jokes in the lead up to ‘Post Break-Up Sex’.

‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ and ‘20/20’ get some of the night’s biggest sing-a-longs and mosh-pits, before tearjerker ‘All In White’ delivers a stand-out reflective moment.

After achieving what Justin calls, “the biggest encore we’ve got all tour”, he returns centre-stage for an acoustic rendition of ‘No Hope’ – it’s a real moment.

21 songs and 90-minutes later, ‘Norgaard’ ends the show in perfectly sweaty fashion.