Just over three years after their first ever single Cry No More was released on Soundcloud, the highly anticipated debut album Caught in Still Life from electro pop band Vaults was released in December of last year. With this album came the highly anticipated tour. The tour included gigs in Glasgow, Bristol, London and more. I was fortunate enough to be one of many in the sold-out crowd at The Deaf Institute in Manchester.
It was clear from the buzz in the crowd that many had been waiting for this gig for a long, long time. Vaults had played The Deaf Institute before but I think it was clear to see just from the fact that the venue was sold out, that Vaults have sky rocketed in popularity since then.
Vaults’ support act was singer/musician Hannah Peel. Hannah used many instruments to create her distinctive sound, including vocals, violin, keyboard and even for one song the use of a hand crank music box. She showed the audience her many talents and unique and forward thinking techniques used to create a completely celestial sound.
The band played some of their older material such as Cry no more and Vultures as well as new material that is featured on their debut album such as Paradise, Hurricane, Orphan and my personal favourite Bloodflow. The venue was an intimate one, with only a small capacity of 260 people. This added to the atmosphere by making the gig seem very personal, as if frontwoman Blythe Pepino was singing to each of us individually, really connecting to our emotions and tugging on our heart strings with the quite dark and deep themes explored through the new music.
Blythe addressed the audience casually and comfortably with her humour and charm that Vaults’ fans are ever so used to. She kept the audience close and made me feel like I’d known her for years. Her vocals are unique and have a mature quality, this makes for an amazing sound when put together with the electronic sounds of Barney Freeman and Ben Vella, who comprise the rest of the band.
When playing live, it’s easy to see that the band are influenced by many genres of music such as jazz, pop, indie, classical and electro. Their music is so diverse but it still all comes back to the distinctive sound we have come to expect from Vaults. The lighting arrangements were what I can only describe as mesmerising, keeping Blythe the centre of attention and surrounding her in iridescent colours from green and blue to deeper purples and red. All of these colours emphasised even more by the giant glitter ball right in the centre of the venue.
Vaults’ amazing debut album Caught in Still Life is available to download now on Spotify and ITunes.