Despite having been a fan since their debut album in 2011, the first time I saw The Vaccines play live was in summer last year.

Dancing in the throng at Benicassim festival in Spain, as they blasted out a succession of crowd-pleasers, was one of my happiest memories of 2018.

Minus the sun, sea and litre carton of cheap Sangria, however, I wasn’t sure how their sold-out gig at Cowley Road’s O2 Academy would compare.

The place was already packed when we arrived, midway through the set of support act Hatchie. The Australian singer has a haunting voice and similar vibe to Wolf Alice and Haim - breathy pop tracks with a dreamlike quality.

Her set finished at 8pm and the floor soon filled up as people elbowed each other for a good spot.

We propped ourselves up next to the fenced-off audio technicians’ area, tutting at the fans who, with arms linked in a never-ending human train, unapologetically shoved past and sloshed our drinks.

Predictably, I found my barely five-foot self sandwiched between the tallest person in the room and the person with the biggest backpack, jutting into my ribs with every excited jiggle.

When the audio team assessed the crowds and decided they need to protect their sound gear with a cellophane cover, presumably in fear of beer being hurled, we agreed it was probably time to shuffle back a little.

Queen’s I Want to Break Free blared out of the speakers to herald the band’s arrival – along with at least three plastic glasses of amber liquid, which were catapulted into the air. Who this is of benefit to I will never know - surely not the thrower, who has just wasted £5.50 at the bar, and definitely not for the bystanders who end up wearing sticky lager for the duration of the gig.

Relieved to have ducked out of the danger zone, my excitement built as the band strode onto the stage. They launched into Your Love is my Favourite Band, a catchy synth-pop track from album Combat Sports, before turning the sea of fans into a bouncing mass with Teenage Icon.

As they powered through a punchy set list, hopping between their four albums, I was reminded just how many hits they have had in their relatively short career – from lively tracks like Nørgaard, No Hope and If you Wanna to slower singalongs like Wetsuit, the energy levels of both the band and their audience was unflagging.

It was impossible to stand still or refrain from singing the choruses, even at the back.

“Your sweat is my sweat now Oxford, and my sweat is yours, and that’s just how it should be”, drawled lead singer Justin Young, managing to make the idea sound more rock’n’roll than revolting. His observation was accurate, if the dripping ceiling was anything to go by.

After exiting the stage after one of their lesser-known songs, Rolling Stones, the crowd stayed put in anticipation of an encore. They did not disappoint, filing back out to deliver another couple of songs from last year’s album.

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I couldn’t think what they had saved for last - they had played all of their big tracks, I thought. The bass strings were plucked in familiar rhythm and recognition surged through the room for All in White.

We sung with Justin in raucous unison, arms in the air. He paused to take it in, before diving back to the microphone for the chorus. It was a special end to a brilliant gig.