Live Review: Vandebilt @ Independent, Sunderland (26.11.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Coming off the explosive response to their latest single, ‘Real Good’, Sunderland’s Vandebilt have returned to their home-turf with a gig at Independent, flaunting their infectious rock bangers along with Geordie lads, Motel Carnation, and support from DJ Ponder throughout. 

Motel Carnation were first on the scene. The smartly dressed lads swaggered onto stage and danced their way through their set. Despite all the highlights from the lively trio, the standout moment for me was during their untitled song. The song featured the band’s signature energetic rock, but toyed with the track’s structure splicing in these haunting samples. 

Sometimes it can feel like a century between the support and headline, however DJ Ponder was here to be our hero. The disc jockey gave the room a club-like atmosphere in between the acts with his house inspired tunes. It was quite a fresh addition to the gig, and not something I’ve personally experienced before, but it kept the energy constant during the wait. We weren’t kept waiting long however as Vandebilt shortly arrived on stage, dazzling lights illuminating the typically pitch black Independent, with a roaring sonic welcome from DJ Ponder and a massive applause from the crowd. 

The band broke into action and filled the room with their electrifying rock anthems, with tunes like the gripping Broken, having everyone immediately dancing and the room shaking. The good vibes carried on with the on-stage banter between vocalist Joey Crack and multi-instrumentalist Jordan Miller, where their chemistry showed the care they put into the art, and along with Jack Wade on Drums and Daniel Martin on guitar, they failed to miss with a single song. 

I’ve got a confession, I’m not much of a dancer. However, when the contagious Real Good started being belted out by these boisterous boys, I couldn’t help but have a little bit of a dance. There’s a reason why this song has been received so positively, and hearing it live was the most exciting part of the evening; it felt like the most definite way to listen to this song – live, in a room full of people wearing down the soles of their shoes. The set was so captivating that you’d almost forget that Storm Arwin was having a little dance himself outside.

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