Gig review: The Vamps, Edinburgh Castle

The Vamps play Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
The Vamps play Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
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BRITISH pop band The Vamps made their Edinburgh debut, playing to a less than full Esplanade.

The Vamps

Castle Esplanade


The sun had been beating down on the Capital during the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival Mardi Gras earlier in the day, however sun rays quickly changed to raindrops as the four-piece boyband made their entrance.

Despite the Rising Vamp, the large amount of over-excited, poncho-wearing teenage girls weren’t about to let the rain dampen their enthusiasm.

“It’s on,” read a text message on the big screens overhead (a firm indication of how social media aware today’s young pop audience is) as Brad, James, Connor and Tristan literally bounced on to the stage.

Kicking off with Wild Heart – a single released on no less than 11 different formats – the lights on everyone’s cameras shot up instantaneously. Mums joined in with the singing, the bass player almost injured himself jumping off the drum riser, even security were waving their arms in time to the music. Not joining in made you look old and boring.

Unlike other boybands, though, The Vamps not only play their own instruments – they play each other’s, too.

Having started out as a covers band uploading videos to YouTube, it was no surprise a good portion of other people’s songs littered their short, hour-long set. From Taylor Swift to The White Stripes, Sum 41 to a rendition of Uptown Funk, there was clearly some backing tracks being added to the mix.

A mid-set drum solo conjured up images of teenagers playing along to Drum Hero. And no pop concert would be complete without an acoustic segment. It gave lead singer Brad Simpson, pictured, a chance to cool down, having taken a turn on the drums between his regular circuits of the stage.

As things drew to a close, a version of Simon & Garfunkel’s Cecilia – a hit before some of the band’s parents were even born – sent those on a curfew skipping off with a smile on their face.

When Simpson asked those remaining “Can We Dance?”, the response was precisely as you might expect.

Don’t believe me? Just watch.