Well this is a pleasant surprise! Whilst queueing for The Umlauts concert (Review HERE) at The Hope & Ruin on Queens Road in Brighton a few days ago, our photographer Cherie Elody spotted a poster on the wall referring to a forthcoming concert by The Vaselines.
Now here was a true blast from the past! I had no idea that the Scottish outfit were still going! I can recall hearing them being played back in the day on the John Peel Show and even thought that they might have recorded a session for him, but I can’t seem to be able to confirm this, so maybe I just dreamt it.
The Vaselines originally formed in Glasgow in 1986 as a duo of songwriters Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, but later added James Seenan and Eugene’s brother Charlie Kelly on bass and drums respectively from the band Secession. After playing their first gigs, they signed to the 53rd and 3rd label and recorded the ‘Son Of A Gun’ EP which was released in summer 1987. The EP interestingly featured a cover of Divine’s ‘You Think You’re A Man’ on its B-side, and the band’s follow up ‘Dying For It’ EP dropped in early 1988. It featured the songs ‘Molly’s Lips’ and ‘Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam’, both of which Nirvana covered on their ‘Incesticide’ album and ‘Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam’ was also covered on MTV Unplugged in New York. This gained The Vaselines a new audience and resulted in 1992, Sub Pop released ‘The Way Of The Vaselines: A Complete History’, a compilation that contained The Vaselines’ entire body of work at the time.
In the summer of 2006, McKee and Kelly took to the stage together for the first time since 1990 to perform a set of Vaselines songs, as part of a joint tour to promote their individual solo albums. The Vaselines then reformed (minus the old rhythm section) in 2008. The band’s second studio album, ‘Sex With An X’, was released in September 2010 and their third, ‘V For Vaselines’, followed in June 2014. For this the band played live at The Haunt on 16th November 2014 and I suspect that this was the last time that they played live in Brighton. However that is until now, with the announcement of their gig at The Hope & Ruin on Sunday 24th Match 2024. This is being billed as a duo performance and support will come from Wendy & Simon of The Popguns. This is not a standalone concert, as The Vaselines have announced a trio of other gigs for that month. These being a Durham date (which has already sold out), a London date and a Leicester date.
If you can’t wait until next March to see The Vaselines perform live, then they will be playing ‘Rockaway Beach’ at Butlin’s Bognor Regis in early January. More details of that can be found HERE and HERE.