The Vaselines – Music Hall of Williamsburg – May 18, 2009

May 19th, 2009

the-vaselinesThe Vaselines, once a humble indie pop band from Glasgow, were onstage before an ecstatic sold-out crowd at the Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. The majority of those in the audience were probably still watching Sesame Street when the band originally broke up in the late ’80s. Many of us might not even have been there if not for uber-fan Kurt Cobain, whose Vaselines covers introduced many a suburban teen to the underground band. Regardless of how each person in the crowd originally discovered the Vaselines’ music, the passing years have turned us into the kind of fans who shriek in delight at the opening chords of “You Think You’re a Man.”

The Vaselines’ singer-songwriters, Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly, opened with “Son of a Gun.” McKee sweetly sang the lyrics, “The sun shines in the bedroom when you play/And the raining always starts when you go away….” But don’t be deceived by these innocent sentiments—McKee and Kelly are anything but twee. Instead, their relationship is firmly based on raunchy jokes and double entendres. While at one moment McKee spoke innocuously about hot chocolate, in the blink of an eye, she and Kelly were engaged in a most inappropriate chat having something to do with her feeling “moist.”

Tonight’s show proved that the dynamic between McKee and Kelly is as compelling as their danceable songs. It’s nice to know that upon reuniting the band in recent years, the two seemingly picked up where they left off—harmonizing sweetly and deadpanning some dirty jokes. —Alena Kastin