THE VACCINES returned to Leeds Festival this year and took to the Main Stage on Friday (August 26) and our entertainment reporter, Abi White, slotted herself amongst the crowd…

Following the dull rain of Thursday, the sun was shining over the Main Stage for the first day of music at Leeds Festival, setting the perfect atmosphere for the English indie-rock band.

With three studio albums to their name, the band had a great selection of songs to choose from to fill their festival set with.

And what a great selection the band chose…

The set was filled with what could be described as a set of ‘The Greatest Hits of The Vaccines’, with almost every track recognised by the large audience.

Handsome’, the band’s single released in 2015 played first, before arguably one of the most famous tracks from the band, ‘Teenage Icon’ played next.

Although both equally well crafted songs, it was a surprise that the band didn’t choose to open their set with ‘Teenage Icon’ as it may have had more of a striking impact and enticed more unfamiliar fans in the audience to be gripped by the band’s set quicker.

Ghost Town’ and ‘Dream Lover’ were next up on the superbly chosen set list, before ‘Wetsuit’ sparked one of the biggest sing-a-longs of the evening, featuring an array of flares billowing over the audience as a wonderfully crunchy bass complimented the track.

Front man Justin Young’s melodramatic stage presence also makes for the band’s success, as he ambled around the stage as if he was born to perform to thousands on stage.

At this point in the set, the screens adjacent to the stage began to show mainly women and the occasional man on their friend’s shoulders lifting their tops up.

From this point through to the end of the set, this became an ongoing comical reoccurrence and it almost seemed to become a challenge for fans to make it onto the big screen.

All in White’ also went down a storm with the crowd, as Young requested: “Be louder for this one” as the set transitioned to another famous track, ‘Post Break Up Sex’.

Until this point, the audience were tamer than initially anticipated, but the party really started as the audience began to warm to the set and liven up when hearing ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ and finally began to lose all inhibitions and fulfil the raucous expectation of The Vaccines crowd during ‘20/20’.

Although it took a little longer than anticipated for the crowd to become fully immersed within the set, ‘If You Wanna’ played second to last, before Young lay on the floor to sing the finale of their set: ‘Norgard’.​

Their debut album asks ‘What did you expect from The Vaccines?’ but despite what was expected from either the band or the audience Leeds Festival was not fulfilling the quota until two thirds of the way through their set.

By Abi White

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