“Hello, we are VANT from Planet Earth” proclaimed freshly-trimmed frontman Mattie Vant after blasting through an energetic rendition of FLY-BY ALIEN, a song about an interstellar traveller discovering how shit humanity is. This cringe-inducing line sums up the band’s philosophy (concerning immigration and borders) and this is echoed in some of the bands lyrics, equally cringe-worthy in some areas. “Keep sucking my dick whilst my friend fucks your mama” is one of many bizarre lines that I’m sure means something to Mattie, but to everyone else seems like a lyric from a pre-pubescent youth’s Soundcloud demo. Luckily the band makes up in energy where they fall flat in lyrical prowess.
Support was from Part Time Miserables and Sam Fender, the former assaulting our ears with a torrent of alt-grunge and the latter gently soothing our shattered eardrums with blissful indie-rock. But the crowd was only there for one reason: to mosh to some VANT. I naively thought moshing would be minimal, but the crowd of millennials seemed to disagree. Nothing to take your mind off your GCSEs like a good mosh. Unfortunately, this meant we were battered around like chip-shop haddock for most of the gig. As one point Mattie entered the crowd, the sea of teenagers desperately trying to place their hands on his sweaty topless body. It’s safe to say that these 16-year-old’s idolised Vant as their god.
Every VANT banger was performed, from the blues-rock infused PARASITE to fan favourite KARMA SEEKER and the pop-punk tinged PARKING LOT. The band clearly haven’t figured out how to turn caps lock off, with some speculating that WELCOME TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF BERNERS-LEE (“maybe she’s a lizard…pink links to the wizard”) was written as a result of Mattie learning how to operate a computer keyboard. A couple of new songs surfaced mid-set, reminding us that sadly VANT are not long for this world. Following their tour and new album, the band announced an indefinite hiatus recently which is truly saddening given their potential.
It’s always risky ending with a cover, with VANT choosing their encore as Blur’s Beetlebum. Although this rendition felt more like Blur on crack, the band perfectly achieving the quintessential sound of Beetlebum while simultaneously giving it that unique VANT twist. Personally, I would have encored with KARMA SEEKER, but what do I know, eh? By far the band’s best song, anyone who claimed they were there for anything apart from KARMA SEEKER would be lying. Seriously go listen to it.
Leaving the venue adequately sweaty, the cool breeze from outside Fibbers provided a welcome refreshment from the humidity of within. The general consensus was positive, and for eight quid definitely worthwhile. VANT had provided an energetic experience, brimming with hard-rock riffs, catchy vocal lines and (in the case of LAMPOON) Nick Oliveri-esque scream singing. Hopefully the band will come to their senses and call off the hiatus, because VANT have the talent and charisma to go far in the industry.
By Luke Binstead