First off: yes, they're good. The New York City natives kicked things off with newest single 'Mansard Roof' and treated us to some dozen songs including much-hyped tracks 'Oxford Comma', 'Mansard Roof', 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' and 'A-Punk'. These familiar tracks seemed to be filled with even more depth and resonated well with the curious crowd. Heck, some people even knew the words. Newer (read: unreleased) material was equally well received. VW dropped several songs from the new album, which they confirmed is complete and due for release in early '08. All were awesome; some are still stuck in my head. 'The Kids Don't Stand a Chance' is especially excellent. Lead vocalist and guitarist-extraordinaire Ezra Koenig was charismatic, energetic, and wore an awesome shirt and sweet loafers. At one point he had pretty much the whole crowd shouting "Blake's got a new face" in jubilation. Don't ask.
The set wrapped up with an intense heavy-metal version of 'Walcott' and looking around the packed venue after this blistering finale, it was pretty clear that everyone had enjoyed Vampire Weekend's first London appearance, band members included.
After winning over the entire crowd at the Borderline, the guys brought out a bunch of copies of their new Mansard Roof 7", released on Monday. The fact that these sold out in about the time it took to open the box and collect the money (I was fortunate enough to get the last one) attests to the calibre of the band's live show. The single's B-side 'Ladies of Cambridge' turned out to be an upbeat, quirky, instantly likable little ditty (surprise, surprise). Just 'cause you weren't there and couldn't grab one for yourself doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to enjoy this track:
Vampire Weekend - Ladies of Cambridge
Some other newbies that you're sure to like:
Vampire Weekend - M79
Vampire Weekend - Bryn