1st December at Academy 1
London’s VANT don’t even have an album out yet, but they’ve gained a mass of fans and support slots with some of the best live acts around — Biffy Clyro, Catfish and the Bottlemen and You Me at Six, to name but a few. Tonight, the band are supporting Essex rockers Nothing But Thieves on a three-date sold-out mini-tour after just completing a triumphant headline tour of their own. The band are in good spirits, storming onto the stage with ‘The Answer’ followed by ‘Welcome to the Wonderful World of Berners Lee’ — their presence is so loud, its hard not to be captivated.
Introducing themselves with the line “hi, we’re VANT and we’re from Planet Earth”, they play recent single and fan favourite ‘Peace & Love’, Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’. This receives a joyous reaction: the crowd roars, throwing their hands in the air. ‘Birth Certificate’ sees lead singer Mattie Vant look like every inch of the frontman, throwing himself around the stage. “It’s an absolute pleasure to be back in Manchester” he chimes. After thanking Nothing But Thieves for bringing them on tour, the band launch into ‘Karma Seeker’ — one of their most popular songs to date, sounding like it was made for a Bond film, it’s unsurprising that a sea of camera phones appear with people screaming the lyrics aloud.
Mattie takes a moment to address the crowd about the recent sexual harassment of girls at gigs — “this song is about understanding other people’s boundaries…fucking respect each other and don’t be a fucking dickhead”. Gaining enormous cheers, this message really shines through when they play ‘Parking Lot’ with such lyrics including “just admire her” — after all, going to a gig should be a stress-free environment where people can let their hair down without fear of harassment. It’s refreshing to see bands like VANT address this, which has most recently been bought to light by the internet campaign ‘Girls Against’.
Before finishing their short 30-minute set, Mattie thanks the crowd and concludes “peace and love, and have a wonderful night”. The band proceed to play ‘Fly-By Alien’ and finish on ‘Do You Know Me’ — the crowd are off, the centre of the crowd is going wild, and bodies are being thrown from pillar to post with hands flying everywhere. VANT will be playing at Gorilla in March for their Dumb Blood album tour which may seem like a long wait for fans, but after tonight’s performance it will be worth the wait.
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