The Vamps are a British pop rock band consisting of Brad Simpson (lead vocals and guitar), James McVey (lead guitar and vocals), Connor Ball (bass guitar and vocals) and Tristan Evans (drums and vocals).[3] They first gained fame in late 2012 with cover songs uploaded to YouTube, leading to comparisons with One Direction and being labeled as a boy band.[5][6] They were signed to Mercury Records in November 2012.[7] They supported McFly on their Memory Lane Tour in early 2013, and also performed at festivals around the UK as support acts for artists such as The Wanted, JLS, Little Mix, Lawson and Demi Lovato.[8][9]

On 29 September 2013, the Vamps released their debut single "Can We Dance", which debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart.[10] Their second single "Wild Heart" was released on 18 January 2014 and peaked at number 3. Their third single "Last Night" was released on UK radio on 24 February 2014 and digital download on 6 April 2014. Their debut album Meet the Vamps was released on 14 April 2014.[11] In February 2014, the Vamps released "Wild Heart" as their debut single in the US and Canada.

The Vamps have launched their own record label but didn't decide the name yet, and they will be working in partnership with EMI/Universal on the offshoot, and the first act signed was the American band The Tide.[12] The Vamps released their second studio album Wake Up on 27 November 2015. The lead single from the album, "Wake Up", was released on 2 October 2015.


2011–12: Formation

James McVey was already managed by Richard Rashman and Joe O'Neill of Prestige Management. Deciding he wanted to form a band, McVey subsequently discovered Bradley Simpson in 2011 through YouTube.[3] Together, the pair wrote songs towards the later months of 2011, with Simpson later becoming lead singer.[3] In 2012, Simpson and McVey met Tristan Evans through Facebook. The trio then met Connor Ball via a mutual friend.[3][2] In mid-2012, the band started uploading cover songs to their YouTube channel. By October they were being described as a new boy band, with special attention given to their YouTube performance of One Direction's song "Live While We're Young".[5] Strong fan support helped bring them wide notice.[6]

2013–14: Meet the Vamps and breakthrough

On 22 July 2013, the band uploaded their first original song, "Wildheart" (later re-titled "Wild Heart"), onto their YouTube account; the video received over 46,000 views within the first two days.[2][2] On 6 August 2013, they released the music video for their debut single "Can We Dance", which received over 1 million views within two weeks.[2] "Can We Dance" was released on 29 September 2013 and debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart on 6 October 2013; beaten to number one by OneRepublic's "Counting Stars",[10] which sold 1,250 copies more.[2] On 19 November 2013 the band announced they would release their debut album around Easter.[2] On 22 November 2013, the Vamps announced that their second single would be "Wild Heart".[2] The song received its first airplay three days later[2] and was released on 19 January 2014, peaking at number three on the UK Singles Chart the following week.

On 13 March 2014, the Vamps announced that their debut album would be released on 14 April 2014. On 22 March, it was revealed the album would be titled Meet the Vamps.[11] On 6 April, they released "Last Night" as the third single from the album. It debuted at number two in the UK. On 17 April, Meet the Vamps debuted at number two on the Irish Albums Chart, kept off the top spot by Paolo Nutini's Caustic Love. The same album beat the Vamps to number one on the UK Albums Chart.

In May 2014, it was announced that the Vamps would be making a cameo appearance in soap opera, Hollyoaks on 14 May 2014.[21] Hollyoaks released a teaser clip about the Vamps' appearance on YouTube. They were seen getting a picture with Peri Lomax (Ruby O'Donnell) as she goes to their concert with Sienna Blake (Anna Passey).[21][22]

2015–present: Wake Up

The Vamps released their second studio album Wake Up on 27 November 2015. The lead song from the album, "Wake Up", was released on 2 October 2015. A music video for the song features the acting debut of Brooklyn Beckham.

A music video for the only promotional single "Stolen Moments" was released in 2015.

In 2016 The Vamps recorded a version of "Kung Fu Fighting" for the animated film Kung Fu Panda 3, which was accompanied by a music video.


The group have been compared to One Direction and labeled a boy band since their first fame in late 2012,[5][6] a label which continued to be applied in 2014.[23][24] The band disagree with the stereotyping, pointing to the fact that they formed by themselves—they are not the product of a record producer—and they play their own instruments.[25][26]


Bradley Will "Brad" Simpson (born 28 July 1995)[27] is from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, England. He sings lead vocals and plays guitar. Simpson met James McVey via YouTube in 2012 (McVey's profile says 2011) and began working on their debut album soon after.[28]

James Daniel McVey (born 30 April 1994)[27] is from Bournemouth, Dorset, England. He is the lead guitarist and sings backing vocals. McVey met Brad Simpson via YouTube in 2011 (Simpson's profile says 2012) and began working on their debut album soon after.[28]

Connor Samuel John Ball (born 15 March 1996 in Aberdeen, Scotland)[27] is from Hatton, Warwickshire, England. He plays bass guitar and sings backing vocals. He was the last to join the band.[3]

Tristan Oliver Vance Evans (born 15 August 1994)[27] is from Exeter, Devon, England. He plays drums and sings backing vocals. Evans also acts as a producer for the band, particularly with their covers.[3]


Awards and nominations

4Music Video Honours2013Your Best BreakthroughThe VampsWon
The Hot Hits AwardsFavourite New Artist
Best Group
BBC Radio 1 Teens Awards2014Friday Download's Best Breakthrough Award
Best British Group
Best British Single"Last Night"
Melty Future AwardsPrix Spécial InternationalThe Vamps
UK Favourite Breakthrough
Radio Disney Music AwardsThe Freshest-Best New ArtistNominated
Teen Choice AwardsLove Song"Somebody to You"
Breakout GroupThe Vamps
World Music AwardsWorld's Best Song"Can We Dance"
"Wild Heart"
World's Best Video"Can We Dance"
"Wild Heart"
World's Best AlbumMeet the Vamps
World's Best GroupThe Vamps
World's Best Live Act
Scottish Awards2015Scottish Fashion Icon of the YearConnor BallWon


The Vamps supported McFly on their Memory Lane Tour in April and May 2013, and Selena Gomez at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 7 and 8 September 2013.[8][29] In October, it was announced that The Vamps would support Taylor Swift on the London leg of her Red Tour in February 2014,[30] and The Wanted on the UK and Ireland leg of their Word of Mouth World Tour from 14 March to 1 April.[31] On 12 February 2014, the band announced that they will be headlining their own UK tour in September and October 2014.[32]


  • Meet the Vamps tour (2014)
  • The Vamps Asia-Pacific 2015 Tour (2015)
  • The Vamps 2015 UK Arena Tour (2015)
  • The Vamps North American Tour (2015)
  • Wake Up World Tour (2016)