‘It’s like a big farewell celebration’: The Vaccines and Everything Everything bring Brit-rock’s best to Australia

Get the latest from Beat


‘It’s like a big farewell celebration’: The Vaccines and Everything Everything bring Brit-rock’s best to Australia

the vaccines
Photo: Wrenne Evans
words by priya francis

The Vaccines are the kind of band that’s impossible to avoid.

Not that you’d want to – their music is effortlessly likable, with just the right balance of old-school alt-rock charm and earworm pop melodies. After the release of their explosive 2011 debut, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines, their hit singles blared everywhere from house parties to cool cafes, and The Vaccines wedged themselves into the upper echelon of British rock. 

Now, six albums and more than a decade later, they’ve proved they weren’t just a flash in the pan. In May, they’re heading to Australia on a whirlwind co-headline tour with fellow UK rockers Everything Everything, hitting Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Castlemaine, Brisbane and Sydney.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

The Vaccines’ Timothy Lanham (guitars, keys and vocals) credits a shared eagerness to get back to Australia and the rollout of a new record for each band as two of the main reasons behind the group making their return to the country for the first time since 2019.  

It was a serendipitous aligning of schedules and a shared eagerness to get back to Australia. We are both currently touring a record and knew it’d be fun to continue our history of playing shows together,” he says. 

Over the years, the West London group has cemented themselves as one of England’s most adored and iconic indie rock bands. One only has to look at their hefty discography, packed with gritty singalongs and instant mosh pit igniters, to see just why fans have stood by the band for all these years. 

With their tour fast approaching, the boys are especially keen to soak up the wild atmosphere Aussie crowds have become famous for. “There’s a real party mood that you can find in an Aussie crowd,” says Lanham. “I remember Triffid being a particularly rowdy one.” With a setlist that includes plenty of the anthemic choruses and infectious hooks The Vaccines have built their reputation on, fans across the country are in for a treat.  

They shared their latest release, their sixth studio album Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations, in January this year. The record takes a walk on the fun side sonically, showcasing some of the UK outfit’s pop smarts, while also covering very raw and honest themes.

The result of this combination is a 10-track album packed with energy and passion, choruses too singable for their own good and melodies that’ll find their way into your head long after you’ve finished listening. Lighthearted and playful, the new material is sure to shimmer when the band takes it to the stage. 

Lanham describes the album poignantly. “It’s like a big farewell celebration; it’s loud, it’s energetic and it’s fun, but when you really think about why you’re there, the nostalgia sets in,” he says. 

Songs like Heartbreak Kid, Sometimes, I Swear and  Love To Walk Away tick all the nostalgic boxes, reminiscent of that tell-tale Vaccines sound, with a fresh injection of pop sentimentality. “Live response is the best barometer for an effective arrangement”, Lanham says.

“Our audience seems thrilled to hear a return to roots as we embrace a band-in-the-room ethos. The raw and less polished approach from our end feels more honest and the audience senses that. We’re all good players and it’s good to utilise that too.”

Lead vocalist Justin Hayward-Young’s lyrics have inspired many a festival field and band room singalong. Songs from their first record, like If You Wanna, Post Break-Up Sex and Norgaard still hit just as hard as the day they were released and the latest album is packed with fresh bangers guaranteed to set the crowd alight. 

The co-headline tour is one the band is particularly looking forward to, with the reward of playing with a band they have such a long history with so much too good to pass up. “We all love Australia. The sun, the food and the people are so much fun. We’re all just excited to be there. Sharing a headline is rewarding because you get to share each other’s audiences,” says Lanham.

Fellow UK rockers Everything Everything will be touring on the back of their highly anticipated seventh album, Mountainhead, finally bringing them back to the country, The Vaccines are guaranteeing “extreme energy and enthusiasm from the stage”.

What’s more, the band isn’t opposed to taking requests: “We often respond to persistent enough fans on the evening, if they heckle for a song hard enough and we can remember the chords we will deliver.”

Tickets to see The Vaccines and Everything Everything on tour this May are available here.

This article was made in partnership with The Vaccines.