Every now and then, something a little bit special comes to Manchester’s music scene. On Thursday evening two hundred lucky gig goers were treated to a truly unforgettable experience courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Presents.
Continuing their longstanding commitment to supporting both independent venues and grassroots music, Jack Daniel’s took over the stunning Victoria Baths on the outskirts of the city centre to bring us The Vaccines in a way like never before.
On arrival at the venue anyone lucky enough to secure themselves one of the highly demanded tickets were greeted by The Vaccines’ logo projected across the Grade II listed building; offering promise that Jack Daniel’s Presents had made plenty of effort to cover each and every detail in order to provide a truly special evening.
With the venue having been kept secret right up until the day of the show, intrigue was at an all time high; and only continued to build as each in attendance entered through the Bath’s front doors to the view of it’s stunning colourfully tiled hallway and staircase which already oozed with an excited atmosphere.
Heading through the hallway there was a feeling of true luck to be in attendance of such a unique event. The main swimming pool belonging to the Baths played host to The Vaccines’ stage, beautifully lit by Jack Daniel’s neon and lined by it’s original changing booths. Next door a huge hall housed a food and drinks area, offering two free serves of JD and a portion of food to everyone in attendance. (If only all gigs were as generous, eh?)
Settled inside Victoria Baths and happily fed and provided with a drink, each lucky enough to have secured themselves a ticket seemed truly laidback and excited, even as they headed through to the pool having heard the announcement of The Vaccines’ imminent arrival; helping to build a truly delightful atmosphere different to any other gig.
Taking to the stage to the sound of ABBA, that delightful atmosphere erupted as The Vaccines took pride of place in the pool. Clothed in an enviable silk shirt, Justin Young wasted no time at all in proving just how great a frontman he is; possessing a cool, confident swagger which only a band as legendary as The Vaccines could pull off.
The addictive fast paced sounds of Nightclub and Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra) fitted flawlessly with the acoustics of such a huge room, and causing fans to rise onto shoulders within mere minutes of the set’s beginning.
Continuing to delight with hit after hit, The Vaccines’ electrifying stage presence is enough along to prove how they’ve avoided the indie landfill; from the early sounds of Teenage Icon to the sounds of Combat Sports tracks Your Love Is My Favourite Band and Take It Easy, Young and co are a band able to adapt, while still maintaining the infectious, upbeat feel they’re loved for.
The nonchalant personality of their stage presence probably should come across as arrogant, but is somehow avoided; and even if it did, the performance they provide would make somehow justify it.
Able to demand a wild and addicted crowd from both the anthemic sounds of If You Wanna and I Can’t Quit, and the mellower side of their sound with Wetsuit and I Always Knew, The Vaccines prove themselves truly legendary.
Drifting out with All In White, the occurrences of Thursday’s events were one of those which leave you a little in shock. The work of both Jack Daniel’s Presents and The Vaccines set a whole new standard for gigs, and undoubtedly left each and every person in Victoria Baths with a lasting memory of a truly incredible evening.
See the full gallery below.
(Photography by Ianthe Warlow)