Vacations / The Lanes, Bristol | 4th of May

Vacations / The Lanes, Bristol | 4th of May

Vacations were the ones taking the stage at The Lanes in Bristol on this particular Friday night, May 4th 2018, greatly backed by Spang Sisters as well. Both of these bands are what I would describe as modern-day indie pop, with dreamy guitars and melodies galore. Sounds great, right? Well here’s my answer: it’s like another experience.

Spang Sisters have got a certain vibe to them, it’s chilled out and just makes you want to sway. In support of new EP, The Draper’s Arms, they made the stage at The Lanes their own. A five-piece, formed by Rachid Fakhre, Albert Haddenham, Ali Horler, Frank Lindsay and Jules Gibbons, these guys just fit fantastically, in the sense of musical chemistry, and are really solid in performance. And instrumentally, they’ve got a fair amount going on; they had everything from clean guitars to congas to synths, even to swapping instruments at the end of the set! Their songs have got a proper feel-good spirit to them (notably songs like Jenny) and they’re obviously passionate about what they do. In terms of comparison to other artists, those who like the Arctic Monkeys album Suck It And See, but wanted something more dreamy and slow, would love this band.
Favourite song by this band:  Lizards (Keep Them Away From Me)

And now, at this point in the night, it’s the moment everything was leading up to – Vacations were up. From Newcastle, Australia, touring Europe in support of their debut album Changes, they began the set with the album’s opening track Anything Could Happen, the air in the room changed dramatically, almost as if everyone was on the same wavelength. Generously coated in clean guitars from Nate Delizzotti and frontman Campbell Burns, tight low-end from bassist Jake Johnson and Joseph Van Lier and beautiful vocals from Burns, I like to think that everyone could find something about Vacations to love. On top of that, their onstage banter is just fantastic; they’re clearly up onstage purely for the love of it, which is the best reason to play music. In addition to tracks from Changes, the guys also played new material. Love Surgeon was a fantastic piece and just makes me look forward to what’s next for this band musically. Honey is a lovely change of pace, a perfect song for the summertime that approaches. Steady was the first Vacations song I heard, and I really liked it, so seeing the song live was a highlight for me. When it got closer to the end of the set, the band were faced by the crowd chanting “One more! One more!”, so? They picked up the guitars and drumsticks again, with Burns replying “F*ck, I can’t say no to that!” and guitarist Delizzotti adding “I am missing a string, so we’ll see how this goes!”. Needless to say, they absolutely smashed it! Vacations are definitely a band to give you what I describe as “the gig highs”. You know, how you’ve gone to see a band who were so great you just leave the venue thinking and talking about nothing but the gig and how great it was, it really elevates you.
Favourite song by this band: Steady

I should also mention I had a quick chat with frontman Campbell Burns just before I left, and if the onstage banter wasn’t enough proof, take it from me – such a cool guy. If you’re reading, Campbell, or Jake, Nate or Joseph, you’re all great people and great musicians who put on a phenomenal show that night. I hope the rest of the European tour goes great for you guys, I’m looking forward to what else you got up your sleeves and feel free to come back to Bristol at any time! I’m sure you’ll be most welcome.

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