Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Shot in the Arm for Music Scene ; the Vaccines Bassist Arni Arnason Left His Native Iceland and Headed for London with a Dream of Making His Living in Music. His Band Has Now Sold More Than a Million Records. MARION MCMULLEN Finds out More

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Shot in the Arm for Music Scene ; the Vaccines Bassist Arni Arnason Left His Native Iceland and Headed for London with a Dream of Making His Living in Music. His Band Has Now Sold More Than a Million Records. MARION MCMULLEN Finds out More

Article excerpt

JOOLS HOLLAND helped catapult The Vaccines to a wider audience when they first performed on his renowned BBC music show.

Bassist Arni Arnason remembers: "We were doing a gig in Sheffield and there was not a single paying customer, just a bored barman, and then Alison (Howe) producer of Later... Jools Holland asked us to appear on the TV show and that was it. At the next date we had 150 people and it's gone on from there."

Arni, singer-songwriter Justin Young, guitarist Freddie Cowan and drummer Pete Robertson have been travelling the world ever since... and returned to perform again on the BBC show earlier this year.

They have also toured with the Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse and will be heading to Australia before Christmas to support Mumford and Sons. "We've been learning from the best," laughs Arni, "these are bands who have been performing for years. You've got to respect that and what they've achieved. The way they approach everything and the energy they put into a performance to make it the best possible."

Before heading Down Under, the band will embark on their biggest tour of the UK and Ireland, continuing to cement their reputation as a great live act. The tour starts in Wolverhampton on November 17 and ends in Belfast, taking in three nights at London's 02 Academy in Brixton along the way.

"How many concert dates have we done this year? I can't even guess, maybe 150," muses Arni. "We get home every third month or so I guess.

"The summer has been particularly gruelling with festival dates, there are only so many festivals you can do, but then we had about 10 days off.

"You do get institutionalised with all the touring though and when you do get a break you start to miss it and want to be back on the road when you're faced with day to day life. That's more terrifying than touring.

"You become very nocturnal. You travel and sleep and everything is geared up to the performance. We've been to many places all over the world and I'd like to go back to all of them some day."

It was his mum who encouraged Arni to leave the family home in Iceland, pack his bags and head to London. …

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