Vampire Weekend, Forum, London
Tuesday 28 October 2008
A little over an hour into another ebullient performance by the most refreshing new band of the year, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig revealed that this was the longest concert they had ever given. A few minutes later it was all over, but it's doubtful whether anyone in the audience felt short-changed.
Vampire Weekend played all 11 tracks off their one and only album so far, plus three new tracks (one untitled), and a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere". Such is the youthful New York four-piece's blend of wit, energy and musicianship that it was very much a case of a lot being packed into a little.
A hectic schedule of live performing throughout this year has honed Vampire Weekend's stagecraft and goes some of the way to explaining their lack of new material. They toured the UK in the early summer and then hit the festival circuit (including two shows at Glastonbury), and here they were back again.
That they were booked into three nights at the Forum was a measure of how far they have come in just a few months, and of the extent to which the whole new sub-genre they have created – "Upper West Side Soweto", to use their own description – has struck with audiences.
In Vampire Weekend's hands, preppy is enjoying a new lease of life. The era of Barack Obama beckons, and the band have made their allegiance to him explicit. Their time has come, and the urban Democrat can walk tall, iPod tuned to "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa". Everything about Vampire Weekend brims with a sophisticated optimism and joie de vivre, and Koenig said he was already looking forward to returning next year when "we'll have a second album and there will be a new president".
Vampire Weekend are one hell of a happy pill, their songs a wondrous amalgam of cleverness, exhilaration and disposability. The audience knew them all off by heart, and most of the gig was just one big singalong, from the almost nursery-rhyme simplicity of "Campus" to the lilting reggae of "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance". The audience needed little encouragement from Koenig to play its part in "One (Blake's Got a New Face)" before "Walcott" brought the evening to a delirious climax. Till 2009, then.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >