VANT may not have released an album yet, but it is already apparent that the British lads are quickly becoming one of the best new bands of 2016, which is pretty impressive considering that they only formed two years ago. Their new found popularity was also apparent at their sold out gig in The Sunflower Lounge tonight as the venue was already buzzing with chatter about the band before the gig had even begun.
Charming local lads The Shanklins were the first to perform tonight and impressed the audience with their set of mature sounding indie-rock. Although their songs were a little bit predictable at times, the band put on a tight performance which was occasionally interlaced with little excerpts from well known songs, for example, Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lot of Love; which helped to power the set along.
Next came an uplifting set from the weird yet wonderful Get Inuit. Part surf rock, part punk rock; these guys really do know how to entertain an audience live. There was something almost discordant and wacky about the band in both a musical sense as well as a physical sense, but it just worked unbelievably well as they weaved their scuzzy magic on stage. In particular, stand out tracks Mean Heart and Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated had everyone partying as the band geekily charmed the entire room.
At 10pm, VANT were met by a completely full room of excited cheers as they took to the stage for their set. It was clear from the offset that this is going to be a wild show, as part of the audience descended into a full on mosh-pit from the moment that the band played the first note of set opener The Answer. In fact, for most of the night the room was hot and heavy as the crowd continued to whip up a frenzy in the mosh-pit, song after song. (Warning: if you do go to see VANT live, you most definitely will end up sweaty!)
As if the audience’s enthusiasm wasn’t enough, VANT were completely thrilling to watch. All of their songs provided short, yet powerful shots of energy which everyone couldn’t seem to get enough of. Although front man Mattie Vant’s passionate and focused songwriting largely centres on gritty themes such as worldwide political issues, the band seem to somehow make their songs appealing and catchy without diluting the subject matter. At times, such as during Parking Lot, there was a grungy sound to their music which reminded me of bands such as The Pixies, Foo Fighters and Queens of The Stone Age; but at the same time, VANT have their own dynamic and distinctive edge which seems to give them individuality.
Towards the end of the night, the band certainly did not hold back as Mattie entered the crowd and performed solos while rolling about on the stage floor. By the time that they performed their final track Do You Know Me? it is quite clear from the storm whipped up tonight in Birmingham, that most of the audience would like to know VANT and will be following what they do next