The Verse’s Lou Clement reviews The Vaults at the Haunt on Friday 3 February
I was at The Haunt on a Friday night to see Vaults play. The venue was packed out, with a noisy and happy crowd full of anticipation. The band similarly brought a light, upbeat and fresh sound to the stage. Vaults were launching their UK tour with this first Brighton date. The three-piece from London have had a meteoritic rise, from anecdotes of writing music sitting in coffee shops in Dalston, to twenty million online streams, but it certainly wasn’t overnight and is very much linked to the fact that their music is awesome.
The Guardian called them ‘commercially astute’, their band CV includes tracks featured on Fifty Shades and a cover of One day I’ll fly away on the John Lewis advert. But this all passed me by, I was totally in love with their music because I had heard it on the radio and listened on playlists for a good few months. The tracks stood up to my always-on-repeat ethos that I have with tunes I get obsessive about.
So to see them live in Brighton is a real treat. On stage, the three piece are conversational and informal. Composed of singer Blythe Pepino and instrumentalists Barney Freeman and Ben Vella. Blythe with her slight figure and shock of blonde hair talks to the audience, expressing her excitement at touring. They began the set with City No More; the tinkling bells and delicate vocals instantly up-lifting.
Live, Blythe’s voice really is something. She reminded me of amazing female vocalists such as Annie Lennox and Tori Amos. Its electronica, it is introspective and delivered with precision and enthusiasm live. I loved that City No More. It’s the first on their album Caught in Still life which was released last year. Following this was Premonitions; a blend of synth, vocal expertise and contemplative lyrics was well received. They played their hit song One Last Night and again, centre stage are the emotion-driven vocals that are on a level with ethereal vocalist Florence Welch. They also played two songs not previously released, Hurricane and The Valley.
It seems there is much more to come from the band. But what a brilliant start to the tour.