The Vaccines: 'People don't generally get to live out their dreams'

The Vaccines take on the road

Photographer: Tim CheesmanChris Swindells on 26 February 2013

The last time Virtual Festivals, and indeed I, spoke to The Vaccines they were worrying about the release of their debut album and, worst still, living up to the hype of being a 'One to Watch' band. Skip forward two years and Vaccines guitarist Freddie Cowan is taking a moment out from touring, following a worldwide jaunt that's taken in Australia, USA, Asia and much of Europe. "America I was particularly happy about because we had to delay the first tour there because of Justin's throat." He says, "We did a support tour with the Arctic Monkeys and I think generally you do a support tour and you follow it up with a headline tour but it was kind of delayed for about a year and a half, but shows were sold out and we were playing much bigger places."

Justin's throat, after the third piece of surgery, is now at full form again and Cowan sounds genuinely excited about another summer on the road. Amongst a string of live dates, including V Festival and Glastonbury, are two island shows that look like gems glinting off the calendar. The band play Ibiza Rocks and Mallorca Rocks this June with Palma Violets playing support, a role that they occupied just two years ago when they opened for Rocks musical director Zane Lowe. "I remember the shows really well," Cowan says "they were great."


For artists and fans alike the Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks experience can be a slab of the proverbial rock-and-roll lifestyle. "You have to take a boat from Mallorca to Ibiza and we arrived to see a fleet of Rolls and Bentleys, and we didn't realise they were actually all for us!"

The party quickly moves from the poolside to the bedroom at the afterparty, in the legendary Pikes Hotel on Ibiza. "They have Freddie Mercury's old bedroom with a bar at the back room. For some reason Billie Piper was there." Cowan recounts, "it was just the most mental night. Everyone was doing the Club Tropicana."

Cowan confesses he's not a "massive clubber" when he talks superclubs: "I've been to Fabric once, it's not really my world but it doesn't mean I don't enjoy it."

There's been plenty of moments to enjoy over the past few years, many as Cowan admits were childhood dreams, with Reading Festival taking him back to his first festival experience as a teen: "it was the most life changing experience to see The Strokes and all those bands, so when we played near the top of Friday it was something I just never thought I'd get to do and it was a huge box ticked. People don't generally get to live out their dreams."

If the dream sounds like one big blur then to Cowan it's passing quicker than ever, "I wish I'd written down something that had happened every single day, like kept a diary." He says, "I take a lot of photographs, even if I don't feel like it because in the end I feel like I'll be really grateful to have that stuff."


Ibiza Rocks 2013 and Mallorca Rocks 2013 take place from 4 Jun 2013 - 18 Sep 2013. The Vaccines headline Mallorca Rocks on June 18 and Ibiza Rocks on June 19, with support from Palma Violets.

Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks tickets and hotel packages are available now. Individual shows are priced at 40 EUR plus a booking fee.

Ticket and hotel package prices vary but for the closing party currently these prices are available:

Ibiza Rocks Hostal – £109
Ibiza Rocks Hotel – £129

Click here for Ibiza Rocks tickets and travel packages.

Click here for Mallorca Rocks tickets and travel packages.

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