After 22 Years, The Vaselines Finally Invade America

July 11, 2008 5:09 PM ET

Scottish indie-pop band the Vaselines formed in 1986 and existed just long enough to release a handful of much-loved cult EPs and a single album (and become Kurt Cobain's self-proclaimed favorite band) before splitting. This week the Vaselines played their first-ever string of U.S. shows, and last night at Brooklyn's beyond-sold-out Southpaw anyone who managed to score a spot caught an absolutely incredible set of the group's punky folk-pop classics, including the two tunes everyone wanted to hear: "Molly's Lips" and "Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam," which Nirvana famously covered on MTV Unplugged. But the highlights of the Vaselines' set were some of the deeper cuts, including a sublime version of the haunting ballad "No Hope," which features the killer lyric, "My life is such a bore/ I need to drink more." On top of the ace performances, singers Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee (who doesn't look a day over 20) showed off their quirky sense of humor, exchanging sexual barbs much to the amusement of the crowd. "We're having a nice time tonight," McKee said, referring to her all-male backing band. "Well, except me. [The rest of the band] is having a ball. They're having a few balls." Kelly retorted: "We don't have any merchandise to sell you. But Frances will give you all a lap dance for $20."

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