The Vamps promise a rollicking live show in Singapore

The Vamps comprise (from left) Tristan Evans, Brad Simpson, James McVey and Connor Ball.
The Vamps comprise (from left) Tristan Evans, Brad Simpson, James McVey and Connor Ball. PHOTO: UNIVERSAL MUSIC SINGAPORE

British band The Vamps, known for their cheery pop tunes, shake off comparisons with their pop peers

British band The Vamps are four young men with idol looks who make cheery pop tunes with plenty of hooks and harmonies, so it is inevitable that comparisons with their pop peers would come up.

Their most recent release, sophomore effort Wake Up, has been described as a mix between boyband sensations One Direction and pop-punk outfit 5 Seconds Of Summer by British newspaper The Guardian and entertainment and lifestyle portal Popsugar.

Lead singer and guitarist Brad Simpson, 20, takes it all in his stride though. "I don't think that's necessarily wrong. I think people will always need to compare because it requires less effort than formulating an opinion," he says in a telephone interview from London ahead of their first show in Singapore at The Coliseum on Tuesday.

Simpson is quick to add that he thinks One Direction have "great songs" and that unlike 5 Seconds of Summer's pop-punk sounds, his band's music on their new album, which was released last November, is more akin to the meatier rock of American band Imagine Dragons.


  • WHERE: The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa

    WHEN: Tuesday, 7.30pm

    ADMISSION: $118 (standard) and$168 from Sistic (go to or call 6348-5555) or APACTix (go to

"I think it's quite different from both their new albums."

The Vamps, which also comprise lead guitarist James McVey, 21, bassist Connor Ball, 19, and drummer Tristan Evans, 21, have held their own in the pop charts since getting together in 2012.

The first four singles from their 2014 debut full-length album, Meet The Vamps, hit the Top 5 of the British charts, while the album itself peaked at No. 2.

They have picked up quite a few accolades too, including Best British Group, Best British Single and Friday Download's Best Breakthrough Award (named after a BBC children's show) at the BBC Radio 1 Teens Awards in 2014.

Unlike many boybands, The Vamps take pride in the fact that not only were they not put together by music industry heads, but they also play their own instruments.

McVey found videos of Simpson singing on YouTube in 2011, the pair connected and were soon writing songs together. They later met Evans through Facebook and Ball via a mutual friend.

Their cover versions, and later original songs, went viral on YouTube, with debut single Can We Dance (2013) reaching more than one million views within two weeks.

More recently, their video for the song Somebody To You, which features American pop singer Demi Lovato, has clocked more than 88 million views.

The group's fanbase includes a posse of high-profile contemporaries such as Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams; Brooklyn Beckham, son of celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham; YouTube star Oli White; as well as singer-actor Conor Maynard, all of whom have made cameos in their music videos.

"We managed to drag them down," Simpson says of getting them to appear in the videos. "They're genuine friends. It was more like, 'Do you want to come down and have fun?'. A lot of them obviously have never made a music video. People like Oli White and Brooklyn have never done any acting before."

Today, the band are confident enough of grooming their own pool of young talents and have started their own record label, Steady Records. They already have two acts on their roster - American band The Tide, who are joining them on tour and will be the opening act at the Singapore show, as well as British trio New Hope Club.

"We've always been interested in that side of the music industry just because there's so much to it," says Simpson. "Having a band to nurture and work with closely and develop, it's quite an exciting prospect. We all love the idea of imparting a bit of our wisdom, not that we have much."

Asked about playing to their fans here at their first Singapore show, he says: "It's always nice to play new places. What can they expect? Lots of sweat, running around and jumping and, hopefully, we try to get the crowd as involved as we can in the live show and make sure they lose their voices by the end of the night."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2016, with the headline 'Vamping up their sound'. Print Edition | Subscribe