Words By: Rachel Lee
IN a time where the excitement of the indie scene days of Blur and Oasis fighting like cats and dogs seem but a distance memory, and the most controversial topic appears to be the love or hate view of Alex Turner’s quiff – the arrival of opinionated London band VANT is sure to shake things up a little.
Witnessing the disastrous toll climate change, rising taxes, and dodgy bankers were having on the world, frontman Mattie Vant decided to shout – rather melodically that is – back in the face of austerity through his music. This has resulted in not only loud, scuzzy punk tunes teamed with infectiously catchy choruses – but also lyrics with actual substance.
Radio ENRG was fortunate enough to be able to interview and watch the band perform at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus as part of their DIY tour, also featuring INHEAVEN and all-female The Big Moon. The cave-like room was only half full but there was a great atmosphere, with people not just there for a certain band but simply to have a good night; with one middle-aged rocker in particular being hilariously enthusiastic – even during the breaks. As we got into the spirit of things at the bar, both of the aforementioned bands were hugely enjoyable on their own. INHEAVEN gave off a more raw Foals vibe and looked every bit like rock stars, whilst The Big Moon sounded like a bluesy, soulful Hole – with (thankfully) a more ‘together’ singer than Courtney Love. However it was VANT that really exploded on the stage. Not wasting time with idle-banter or introductions – as if they needed any – they came crashing out of the dark, hitting the crowd with a wave of riffs and piercing vocals. It was instantly clear that we were in for one hell of a gig.
Having left our interview with the impression that Mattie would be a charismatic showman, he did not disappoint in the slightest. He captured the crowd’s attention in seconds and soon transfixed them into a hypnotic daze; mesmerized on his every word. The band seemed to really click together as a whole; musically bouncing off one another and also giving each other a moment to burst through and display their musical talents. Fellow guitarist Henry Eastham and Mattie’s guitar moulds seamlessly together, both simultaneously knowing exactly where to take the song next.
My personal pet peeve is without a doubt when a band have a weak rhythm section and lazy bass lines – something which can definitely not be said about Martin Soderin and Billy Morris, on drums and bass respectively. VANT are a fully formed band with a sound that eclipses their age; so it’s no wonder they were asked to support Royal Blood in both London and Germany and have just survived a hectic summer of playing festivals including Reading, Leeds and Secret Garden Party.
It’s clear to see the potential this band has, and they may even be mentioned in the same breath as the Strokes in the near future, with VANT being compared to The Pixies with the edge of Queens of Stone Age. The band ripped through their impressive, if slightly short, catalogue including Radio 1’s Annie Mac recommended ‘Parasite’ and my personal favourite ‘Do You Know Me’.
Having recently signed to major label Parlophone, who boast the likes of Blur and Radiohead, there will hopefully be an album from VANT on the horizon but in the meantime try and catch this band whenever you can – you won’t regret it.