Get ready to vamp it up!

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Think One Direction meets McFly and you’ve got The Vamps – a new fresh faced, floppy haired four-piece who are storming social media sites and set to play their biggest gig yet at North East Live on Saturday, at the Stadium of Light.

Marie Westmoreland chats to the eldest member of the band James McVey, ahead of the boyband’s visit to Sunderland.

“We’re like a social network band if there is such a thing,” said Bournemouth-born guitarist James, 19, who set the band up with singer Bradley Will Simpson, 17, from Birmingham.

“We owe a lot to social media”, he added, as the pair met through YouTube before they later found fellow band members online – drummer Tristan Evan, 18, from Devon and bassist Connor Bell, 16, from Warwick.

In little less than a year they have already created a huge, predominately female following, and when asked about this James nervously laughed and said: “We really like support we get from them and we have had girls hanging round which is nice, but we also have male fans too so it’s all good.”

Since The Vamps supported McFly on their spring tour, subscribers to their YouTube account have rocketed.

To date they have 223,060 followers which is incredible considering they have yet to release any original material, which James describes as “summery feel-good acoustic pop, with a little bit of indie”.

Expect to hear new material and a few cheeky covers when The Vamps kick off North East Live this weekend.

Q&A with James McVey of The Vamps.

How are you feeling about playing North East Live at the Stadium of Light?

“We are really excited actually it is definitely the one we are most looking forward to playing this summer.”

Have you ever played in Sunderland before or visited the North East?

“No. I live in Bournemouth, but Brad has family in Newcastle, so he’s been in the North East before. We haven’t played in Sunderland, but on the McFly tour we played in Newcastle, which was great.”

What other artists are you looking forward to seeing at North East Live?

“We are quite good friends with Lawson so it’ll be nice to see them.

“Also, we hung out a bit with Conor Maynard in New York – when we were over there to finish some bits for our album, he was doing a gig, so we went to his show and he was happy to have some English people there.

“We met The Wanted the other day. We are lucky because the people who we look up to and respect are now becoming our friends.

“We are really looking forward to seeing Rita Ora as we haven’t seen her before.”

The Stadium of Light is a huge venue and can hold up to 50,000 people - how are you feeling about that?

“It’s crazy! It hasn’t really hit us yet. We’ve done shows with McFly, but to play stadiums is crazy.”

What kind of songs will you be playing during the set?

“We’re hoping to promote our original material and have at least three quarters of our original material in the set and maybe one or two covers.”

What would you say to people who compare you to One Direction?

“As a band we listen to them, we respect them in the sense that they cope with all the fame they have. With regards to comparing us we are a pop act, but we try to write our own songs and play instruments.”

You’re in the studio at the minute – how is that experience going?

“It’s cool. We have been very lucky to work with some really cool producers. We are just trying to finish album. We hope to have a single out in September, and next year an album.

The Vamps will be at North East Live at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland on Saturday, June 22. The five-hour music extravaganza, will also feature JLS, The Wanted, Rita Ora and more. Tickets priced from £25 can be bought online at or by calling 0871 230 1097 or 0844 477 5775.