INTERVIEW: The Vamps talk brand new tour celebrating 10th anniversary of debut album ‘Meet The Vamps’

It seems hard to believe a whole DECADE has past since pop/rock supergroup The Vamps first burst onto the British scene, and captured the hearts of millions, with the release of their debut album ‘Meet The Vamps’.

Made up of 15 irresistibly catchy, high-energy, super melodic pop songs – including the smash hit singles ‘Can We Dance’, ‘Wild Heart’, ‘Last Night’, ‘Somebody To You’ and ‘Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart)’ – the record debuted at No.2 on the Official UK Album Chart and went onto sell over 300,000 copies.

Internationally the LP charted within the Top 10 in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland, whilst over in America it cracked the notoriously difficult Billboard 200 albums chart, peaking at No.40 and selling around 10,000 copies in its first week of release. 

The Vamps

To celebrate a decades worth of music and memories, the band – made up of Connor Ball, James Brittain-McVey, Tristan Evans, and Bradley Simpson – have announced they are to hit the road this September, to play a string of extra special shows across the UK in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the much loved albums release.

Scheduled to kick off at the York Barbican on Saturday September 7th 2024, the Meet The Vamps Anniversary Tour will see the quartet perform the record in track order, and in its entirety, along with a number of other hits, and a few fan favourites too!

Check out the full list of dates below:

With just hours to go until tickets go on general sale, we caught up with the awesome foursome to get lowdown on what audiences can expect from their upcoming shows…

The news is out! The Vamps are going back on tour on this September – you must all be so excited?

Bradley: Yeah, I can’t lie it is pretty exciting! Personally, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun on this tour, because we’re doing something a little bit different this time around, so I actually can’t wait to get back out there and perform with the boys again, and show everyone what we’ve been working on.

James: For us as a band, touring and playing live has always been a really important part of what we do as ‘The Vamps’. As individuals, it’s what we grew up doing, we each have a history of gigging at various different pubs and clubs as young teenagers, so to still be able to perform and tour at this stage in our career, is a dream come true! So yeah, like Brad said, we’re definitely excited to be announcing new live dates. 

As you just mentioned, these shows are going to be somewhat different to your previous tours, as you’re taking a moment to really celebrate the 10th anniversary release of your debut album ‘Meet The Vamps’. Without giving too much away, can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve got planned?

Bradley: So the show is basically going to be us playing the ‘Meet The Vamps’ album in its entirety, and revisiting all of the songs we recorded and released during that era, which we think is a really cool concept that the fans will hopefully enjoy. 

James: I’d say the closet we’ve ever come to doing something like is, was the livestream show we did back in 2020 in the lead up to the release of our last record ‘Cherry Blossom’. We played the majority of those songs live then, but not to the extent we’re planning on this tour. 

Bradley: Yeah we really want to do a deep dive into the album, and let each song have its moment. There are some tracks we’ve never, ever played live before, so it will be an interesting, and fun experience for us to revisit them after all these years… we’re probably going to have to re-learn most of them to be honest (laughs)

It will be so interesting to see which tracks resonate with fans 10 years on…

Connor: I know! It’s going be crazy to see how people will react. We just hope everyone in the audience has a good time, and is reminded of a brilliant time in their life.

James: And from our point of view, we have so many different memories attached to these songs, so I think it will be interesting to see how we too react to playing them live again.

Bradley: ‘Meet The Vamps’ was the album that kickstarted our career, so it feels very special to be putting a tour together to celebrate a project that gave us so much.

Are there discussions taking place right now, with regards as to how to present these songs in 2024? Or do you very much want to stay true to the original versions we all know and love?

Tristan: I think it’s about finding the right balance between creating something that feels both nostalgic, and new. Even though we love them, and we’re super proud of them, I don’t think we want to do exact carbon copies of the original masters, because that would maybe feel like a bit of a cop out. So we’ll just get together, jam out, and see what happens naturally in the rehearsal room. 

Bradley: I think this tour will be a really nice way to bridge the gap between our past, and our future. We are going to be doing a sixth album together, so I guess the ways in which we present these songs will perhaps give a nod as to the direction we might to go musically in the future… 

Putting the music one side for a second, what kind of atmosphere, and experience do you want to create for audiences coming along to the show?

Bradley: Personally, I love the idea of trying to recapture the world as it was ten years ago, back when the album first came out. If you think about it, that era was a moment in time culturally, where fashion and pop music seemed to be at the forefront of everything. So I think it would be cool if were to step into that nostalgia, because it was such a special time for us personally, and for the fans growing up. It’s so funny, just this morning we bumped into some fans in the street actually, and they said to us: “we’re going to come to the show dressed as we did when we first came to see you in 2014” which we all think is a brilliant idea!

The Vamps – Can We Dance (Official Music Video)

Talk to us about day-to-day life on the road! Is there an element of freedom that comes with being on tour, compared to times like now say, when you’re in full on promo mode, and you have a strict itinerary to follow day in, day out?

Tristan: Freedom in terms of space? No, because you should see how small, and close together the bunks are on our tour bus (laughs). We literally sleep in such a close proximity to one another, it’s crazy! But freedom in the sense that we can do what we want on stage, and with regards to the type of show we want to create? Yeah, we have a lot of freedom when it comes to things like that. We’re lucky, we work with a great team of people who allow us to do what we want with our live shows and tours. 

Bradley: Things are definitely much more laid back on tour. The day of a gig, you don’t necessarily need to wake up until its time to go to soundcheck which I personally really like and enjoy (laughs).

Connor: Yeah, if we have nothing we need to do that day, we can stay in bed till at least 3 o’clock in the afternoon which is so much fun, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve done that many, many times before (laughs). 

And once you’re settled into your routine, and the overall feel of the show, what do you each think is the best part of touring?

Bradley: For me it’s got to be the shows themselves. Nothing will ever top that feeling of being up onstage with your mates, playing the music you wrote together, and interacting with the fans. 

Connor: Yeah, I’d say the same as Brad really. I also enjoy having the opportunity to travel, and experience the vibe of each city we visit. I reckon we now make more of an effort to go out and see the places we’re staying, rather than just sleeping and chilling in bed all day (laughs). Even if its just walking from the bus to venue, it’s cool to check out our surroundings, and see what the people who live there are getting up to.

Tristan: We always enjoy ourselves in Manchester don’t we? Manchester Apollo is one of our favourite venues to play, and so we always have the best time there, both on and off the stage. 

James: We always like to say that The Vamps is a touring band, and so overall, we enjoy everything about being on the road; it’s definitely our favourite thing to do as a band – we get to hang out everyday with our best mates, it’s great! And just to pick up on Brad’s point, we love having the opportunity to meet the fans, and we still get such a buzz seeing their reaction to us!

Even after a decade of doing this, we would imagine the thrill of stepping out onto that stage night after night ever gets old?

James: I think the thrill gets better the older you get to be honest with you! The first few years of us being together were a bit of a whirlwind. But then the pandemic came, and it was like having this forced period of contemplation to pause, think, and reflect. Now every show we do, we really, really appreciate the opportunity, and we each try to remain present for the duration of the time we’re on stage. Personally, I’ve stopped drinking before our shows, which means I am now completely present, and have total clarity when I performing, which allows me to really enjoy the moment and feel the emotion of the crowd, which is so nice.

What about on the nights when you’re not feeling so confident, how do you combat those pre-show nerves?

Tristan: Of course there are always some nerves before a gig, but I think we get more excited now than nervous. We take comfort in the fact that we’re always well rehearsed, and we make sure we know our shows, and setlist, inside out before going on stage.

Bradley: The great thing about being in a group is the fact that you always have someone there to support you when you’re not feeling your best. Do we still get nervous? I’d say it depends on the show, and who’s in the audience – it’s always nerve wracking when family come down! But we’ve been gigging together for so long now, that we each just click into this united, performance mindset, and we have so much fun. 

Ten years on, and the bond between the four of you is still going strong… we love to see it!

James: (laughs) it definitely is. We enjoy everything we do, and like we said, playing live is our favourite part of being in the band, so any chance we get to do that, we’re happy!

Bradley: None of us forget who we were at 14 years old, dreaming of one day being able to do what we do now. We don’t take anything, especially the support from our fans, for granted. 

Check back in a few weeks time, to read part two of our exclusive interview with The Vamps! Tickets for the ‘Meet The Vamps Anniversary Tour’ go on general sale at 9am THIS FRIDAY, June 7th 2024.

Let us know your thoughts on The Vamps over on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) @CelebMix now!

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