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The Vamps: New sensations leave girls screaming for more

By Andrew Johnston

If you were wondering where your daughter, niece or kid sister were last night, they were probably at the Odyssey Arena watching The Vamps.

The latest pop-rock sensation seemed to have attracted every teenage girl in Belfast.

The only Y chromosomes were on the stage, as Brad Simpson, James McVey, Connor Ball and Tristan Evans made their Belfast headlining debut.

The foursome burst straight into the anthemic one-two of Wild Heart and Hurricane.

The music was deafening, but it had to be to be heard over the piercing screams of 8,000 female fans.

Gone are the days when forming a band meant sweating it out in the garage before taking your first tentative steps on the pub circuit. Now, in the wake of One Direction, put four lads, a vat of hair gel and a dozen Godzilla-sized choruses in a blender, and it's a fast track to a million YouTube hits and a sold-out arena tour.

And why not? The fact they play their own instruments - albeit augmented by backing tracks - already makes them many times cooler than last decade's boybands.

Covers of the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army and Sum 41's In Too Deep underlined their 'real' credentials, as did Evans' accomplished drum solo.

Not that the Vamps need to prove anything to anyone - they're as confident as they are catchy, and if not the next Ramones, could at least be the next Top Shop T-shirt.

Three stars

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