VANT have soared in popularity since their debut single Do You Know Me? turned a few heads in 2015; consistently bringing out politically charged singles since their very beginning, the London-based four-piece have proved to be lyrically and musically scathing. Taking to the road after the release of their debut album ‘Dumb Blood’ in February (read our review here), VANT have taken to a mass of UK venues to get their message across, with Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms playing host this time around.
Hitting the ground running, VANT jutted straight into Fly-By Alien and Jesus Was A Conman to a bouncing crowd, no doubt meaning every word they were singing along to just as much as frontman Mattie Vant. Headed For The Sun brought a slicked-back and more delicate moment, before Parasite clamped the set into overdrive ready for anthemic stadium-ready Peace and Love to ring around the matching crowd. Upholding that rather obvious political front VANT are near-on synonymous with, Welcome To The Wonderful World of Berners-Lee took a pop at the Internet-generation, by which point the Wedgewood Rooms was in a state of pandemonium appreciating one of the finest new bands about.
Jumping into Mess Around, and the tremolo attack on immigration laws in the forms Birth Certificate and Freedom of Movement, VANT were showing no sign of letting up soon. I Don’t Believe In God gave a smidgen of respite, honing in on the garage-rock sound featured the whole way through ‘Dumb Blood’, and indeed the gig. With the intensity raging again in The Answer, VANT nigh on demanded a response from the not-quite sold out crowd, as the lengthy build up summoned a moshpit before the purely acerbic chorus kicked in.
Taking a lot of influence from American garage-rock, Put Down Your Gun, Lampoon, and completely Parking Lot edged the set towards its close. Subduing the crowd’s bated breath, the quartet rambled back on stage to sprint their way through Karma Seeker, before perhaps the band’s crowning moment came in the form of Parking Lot and Do You Know Me? cordoned off the stage.
VANT are not for the politically faint-hearted. In being particularly vocal on pressing issues and corrupt government, the band showcase something a lot in the Class of 2017 don’t, and that’s relevance.
Words by Jasmin Robinson