Review: VANT – 23/01/20 – Riverside, Newcastle


On Thursday night alternative indie act VANT was back in town. Locals Roxy Girls and original Dutch band Magnetic Spacemen supported the performance at Riverside. The audience members were having the time of their lives…

Having to miss Roxy Girls, our night started with tight riff-filled punk rock from the four energetic musicians that call themselves Magnetic Spacemen. The band joined VANT on tour for the first time last year and seemed to have made a pretty good impression. 

They left that same impression again on Thursday with their infectious, passionate rock sound. For a newer band, a stage such as Riverside’s is a rather big one. However the band used the space they had and filled the venue with their unstoppable energy. Magnetic Spacemen make music that shows the band are comfortable and confident and perform instead of play. Their set was great and a welcome introduction! 

A half packed venue for the support acts still gave hope for main act VANT, however it did not get much busier throughout the night. After a break up with the original band, VANT came back last year and comebacks are never really easy so this could be why. That did not seem to matter to any of the attendees though. 

They were mostly boys and girls under twenty that knew how to organise a mosh pit. From the second song onwards the audience went wild, they chanted along and jumped around like their lives depended on it. VANT’s fruity alternative songs were what brought a smile to everyone’s face, and with a dark undertone they set themselves apart from generic indie. We can possibly all agree that VANT should stick to the more upbeat rhythms as one of their slow songs became quite dull after the first couple of tones. It’s good that they tried. 

The strength of frontman Mattie Vant is the need portrayed through his songwriting and performances. The seemingly introverted frontman grew into his own skin during his set and blossomed into an entertainer that did almost an entire song in the midst of his crowd. We were about to end on a high with banging hit ‘Parking Lot’, when Mattie started one out of three encores with a cheeky cover of ‘Wonderwall’ as a little extra to his fans. 

The show ended right before it got too late. After the show all of VANT’s dedicated fans, many of which now fans of Magnetic Spacemen as well, got the chance to meet their heroes. It was one of those gigs when the best part is exiting the venue surrounded by hyperactive people people that are giggling and drunk on life. 

Thank you VANT, until next year!




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