VANT // Fibbers, York // 21.11.16
On what can only be described as one of the wettest days I’ve experienced whilst being in York, Storm Angus seemed to pause momentarily for teenage indie rock fans to eagerly queue outside Fibbers, now one of York’s final few live venues. The last time I was there I seemed to bring the average age down quite considerably; for this gig, however, it seemed I had the opposite effect. Nevertheless, after just about getting over myself, my friend and I decided it best to grab a drink and enjoy the sound of the first of the warm up acts, Part Time Miserables. In all honesty, they seemed a rather odd bunch. A drummer adorned in gloves and a trilby and an assortment of paper clips hanging from the frontman’s ear were the main things I took away from the set; that and how the frontman and bass guitarist tried to stir the crowd to mosh by having a two-man stage mosh with themselves. Interesting to say the least. The actual music on the other hand was a somewhat acquired taste. Consequently, it was about time for another drink.
The next band, PARTYBABY, had come all the way from LA to play this fine establishment, and I don’t believe it was a wasted trip. The frontman, who looked like LMFAO’s own Red Foo’s doppelgänger, successfully controlled the stage and the response from the young audience was largely positive. Excitement for what was to come seemed to be growing.
Before long it was time to give the crowd what they wanted, and out came VANT. Although they played a relatively short set, it was definitely enjoyed by all there. There seems to be a tendency at these type of gigs to attempt to mosh at any and all given opportunity – one would think this would be musically permitted, but one would be wrong. Within 30 seconds of the set opening, teenage angst was thrown around the Fibbers floor with sweaty bodies flailing from side to side. It was moshing for the sake of moshing. I think the onstage actions of Part Time Miserables could have stirred the enthusiasm for such raucousness, but who knows? In a short break from the chaos you could hear the crowd singing back the lyrics of more well-known tracks such as ‘PARKING LOT’ and ‘PEACE & LOVE’ to front man Mattie Vant.
VANT proclaim their angst at the world we live in, and before leaving the stage, Mattie took a moment to address their herd of faithful subjects about respecting one another and creating “peace and love”. It seems quite a few bands have been doing this over the last few weeks in light of recent international events, but who knows if this was related. In an impressive encore which resulted in a number of crowd surfers ending up on stage next to Mattie, VANT started by covering MIA’s ‘Paper Planes’, a song I feel they probably chose due to MIA being an artist known to address the broken nature of society through her music in a similar manner to what VANT attempt. They then climaxed the set with their most famous track ‘DO YOU KNOW ME’, which was well received by yet more moshing – and that was that. Gig complete, and hopefully the rowdy teenage audience took two things away from the experience. First, an appreciation for how to make the world a better place according to VANT, and second, a stitch from the endlessly unnecessary moshing.