Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom stands out for The Vaccines for two reasons; one good, one not so good.
The indie rockers are back at the iconic venue next week as part of their latest UK tour, following the release of album English Graffiti earlier this year.
“The Empress Ballroom is a very memorable venue,” lead guitarist Freddie Cowan said, with the band having last played there in May 2012. “Last time, there were something like 70 mobile phones stolen during the gig - it was chaos.
“It’s beautiful, very English and special.
“In America there are theatres like that, not many and they are dying out pretty quick, and places like that in England have been taken over by O2 so they all look the same in purple and silver.
“When you play somewhere as unique as the Empress Ballroom it makes for something special. I saw a video from our last show, taken from the balcony and it was going right off.
“Usually, you see a pocket of people which looks like the sea, but there it was everyone, the whole place, moving as one so that gig really stood out.”
As a band which has built up a strong live reputation, thanks to their own headline shows as well as support billings for the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse among others, that’s some claim for the Winter Gardens’ venue.
The tour launched last week, but Freddie’s already promising a fresh show by the time it reached Blackpool on Friday, December 4 - with the four piece writing new tracks as they travel the country.
“We are already rehearsing new songs in the soundchecks and will have them in [the show] by the time we get to Blackpool,” he said. “We are really into writing on the road.”
And this way of working comes in response to the ever-changing trends of the music industry, where much of the focus is now on individual track releases.
“I just don’t like this three year cycle of writing, releasing and touring,” Freddie added. “I want to put something new out every few months.”
* The Vaccines, Empress Ballroom, Friday, December 4. Call (01253) 625252.