Gig review: The Vamps @ Sound Control, Manchester

By Tim Hyde

You may have never heard of them, yet a deafening barrage of screaming fans queued outside Manchester’s Sound Control yesterday well before The Vamps gig was scheduled to start.

The Vamps are four teen musicians whose unusual back story is they formed a band after seeing each other on YouTube.

Performing only their second ever headline gig, The Vamps were coming to Manchester off the back of a tour with McFly this summer.

In the end, the band’s acoustic set had to be played TWICE due to the sheer volume of fans – but it’s nice to know they don’t want to let anyone go home disappointed.

Queues outside the venue were so long that security ran out of barriers to contain emotional and hyperactive fans, who couldn’t wait to get a glimpse of the teenage heart-throbs.

Inside the venue, more than 400 were packed into the upstairs stage room, awaiting the arrival of their new idols.

Founded only three years ago, The Vamps have rapidly grown in stature by using social media incredibly effectively.

This has gained them a huge online following on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The (young) female-dominated crowd went wild as Connor, Tristan, James and Bradley leapt on stage – with an abundance of home-made banners to greet them.

Playing four original songs that they collectively wrote, The Vamps also delved into a handful of covers that didn’t stray too far from their own sound – a couple of All Time Low hits and Busted’s Year 3000.

The young-uns are fronted by cheeky Brummy Bradley Simpson, whose vocal performance was right on point throughout the set.

Putting heaps of energy into the performance, The Vamps looked to be enjoying themselves – and I’m sure I could still make out the occasional glance at each other as if to say ‘are they really here for us’.

It’s your staple rock-chords and catchy choruses, with the required insertion of faultless melodies. Nothing exciting, nothing different – but what did you expect?

Technically each band-mate appears perfectly proficient on their instruments, and the genre of music they are exploring will bring them significant amounts of love from teenage girls (but no doubt groans from their boyfriends), but critical success isn’t likely to be on the horizon any time soon. But good on them for writing some of their own material – a rare thing in the pop world these days.

The boys have come on well since there first gig with McFly back in March, clearly having picked up plenty of stage tips from the now veterans of pop-stardom.

And supporting McFly has managed to attract an army of followers, gathering more than 250,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel.

Like it or loathe it – I won’t say which I choose for fear of reprisal from their legion of fans – you’ll be hearing these on the airwaves a lot over the coming years.

The Vamps were promoting their new single Can We Dance, which can be purchased September 1.

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