Community Festival - Home Crystal Palace Park 7 July 2023

The Story Of… The Vaccines

Do you remember 2011? The same year Prince William and Kate Middleton wed, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hit the cinema and Jeremy Paxman swore on live TV (and then apologised afterwards).

New band The Vaccines, having formed the previous year by guitarists Justin Young and Freddie Cowan, had uploaded demo track ‘If You Wanna’ to YouTube in August 2010. Almost instantly, Zane Lowe named the track ‘The Hottest Record In The World’ and the rest – as they say – is history.

The band, now consisting of Árni Árnason and Pete Robertson in addition to Young and Cowan, were about to be put on the travellator straight to the stars. That same year, the band recorded two new singles ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ and ‘Blow It Up’. Around the same time they played a sold-out debut London show – where a reported 200 people were turned away after it was at capacity.

At the start of 2011, The Vaccines were named third in the BBC Sound Of poll and were on the cover of NME shortly after. Their huge next single ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ came at the end of that – what seemed to be a whirlwind – month.

The band then stayed on the road for that year, culminating in an appearance of Top Of The Pops on Christmas Day. How cute is that?!

By then, we were ready for another dose of The Vaccines. In March the following year, the band announced they were in the midst of recording their second album – which was to be known as their blistering ‘Come Of Age’. The album obviously came in at number 1 in the UK Album Charts, because of its bangers like ‘Bad Mood’, ‘No Hope’, ‘I Always Knew’ and ‘Teenage Icon’, which propelled our love for the band to the outer stratosphere.

The music videos for the record – which took inspiration from B-movies and maintained an otherworldly vibe – played as “an extension to the music” said Justin on BBC Breakfast.

Between albums, they released the ‘Melody Calling’ EP and ‘I Don’t Even Know You’ – a documentary looking at the band’s experiences on the road over the prior two years.

Then, after a few years off regaining their stamina, they announced in 2014 that their next album would be recorded at the end of the year. And the following year, in May 2015, ‘English Graffiti’ was unleashed into the world.

The debut single ‘Handsome’ was a massive tune, while tracks that followed ‘Dream Lover’ and ‘(All Afternoon) In Love’ gave us exactly what we wanted from the band; hearty singalong bangers.

The band rolled on in a non-stop party fashion – playing around the world and lighting up lives wherever they went with beaming passion. But it was when they released their first track from their new album ‘Combat Sports’ at the end of 2017 that we learnt that The Vaccines are only getting even bigger. The album, Justin has said, is a “return to their roots“.

‘I Can’t Quit’ gives us everything we wanted on a plate – and we lapped it up. Summer vibe? Check. Swagger? Check. One hell of a groove? You know it, check.

Now, we wait. Patiently. For The Vaccines’ new album ‘Combat Sports’ to make our lives substantially better all the way up to the moment they walk onto the stage at Community. And that’s when we’re gonna lose our sh*t singing along to what you’ll look back on as the biggest party of the year.

What are you waiting for? Pick up your tickets today.