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Jack Daniel's Presents: The Vaccines @ Manchester, Victoria Baths, 20/09/18


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Intimate, exciting and all about the sweet and smooth moves; Jack Daniel’s Presents took over Manchester’s Victoria Baths for an unforgettable night.  All with a little help from LUCIA and The Vaccines.

Image credit: Jack Daniels

Having curated festival stages with the Noel Gallagher-approved club night, This Feeling, and constantly sponsoring music charities; Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey has always and shall remain, a key support system for up-and-coming musicians.  

If you are on the hunt for a live band, artist or a new singer to sink your teeth into, then it will be no surprise if you simultaneously discover JD’s and coke flying around the venue. It is ritual; it is the unwritten rule - live music always, definitely sounds better with Jack Daniel’s.  

Due to the whiskey brand’s unrequited love for live music, it is no surprise that their infamous Presents night landed in Manchester last week.  With the city being the hometown to a collection of the greatest acts to ever walk the globe, it was the turn of LUCIA and The Vaccines to make their everlasting mark on the city of dreams.

With 100% of proceeds going to the Music Venue Trust, fans packed into Victoria Baths to firstly witness Glaswegian heavyweights, LUCIA, take the stage by storm.  

Snarling vocals paired with a seething attitude; never before has a sold-out crowd been so enchanted by swirling darkness and moody innovation. While their stage presence was larger-than-life, LUCIA thankfully had the arsenal to match. Set highlights came from the colossal ‘Ice Cream’ - which saw frontwoman Lucia Fairfull wholeheartedly spitting melodic growls and menacingly pointing fingers - as well as latest single ‘Summertime’. We were all in LUCIA’s palms. We were swept up. Did it really have to come to a close?

The Vaccines

A pit-stop of BBQ food, a couple of silky Jack Daniel’s cocktails washed down with shots of their sweet Honey whiskey (always drink responsibly!) - the mood was wild, the lights were dimmed, and the main men of the evening, The Vaccines, rolled onto the scene. 

Jumping straight into a hit-heavy setlist (‘Handsome, ‘Wetsuit’ and ‘Post-Break-Up Sex’) revellers had the chance to see Justin Young, Freddie Cowans and the gang up-close-and-personal like never before, thanks to Jack Daniel’s Presents at Victoria Baths. Spanning their fruitful careers, tracks from all four Vaccines records (including ‘I Can’t Quit’ from Combat Sports, ’20/20’ from English Graffiti and ‘Teenage Icon’ from Come Of Age) were jarringly mashed together. Each song from every era of The Vaccines ebbed, flowed, crashed and contrasted with its predecessor. It was controlled madness and a perfect display of power. 

The Vaccines left nothing to the imagination, as ‘If You Wanna’ (from their debut LP What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?) caused sheer havoc both on stage and the floor below. Pleasure burst from Young and showered the room simultaneously as the familiar opening chords of ‘I Always Knew’ were strummed.  This was an eclectic set overseen by an enigmatic frontman. You cannot put your finger on it, but Young and co. are something seriously special.

From opening with ABBA’s ‘Waterloo’ and closing with a crescendo of shimming indie-rock; The Vaccines were scintillating. Faultless and impeccable - Jack Daniel’s Presents might have just seen the band at the very peak of their game. Is it possible they can reach any higher heights?

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