The Vamps | Hydro, Glasgow| Rating: ***
With One Direction on hiatus, the way is open for the next all-conquering boy band, and The Vamps are among several current contenders who actually make like a band, eschewing dance routines, costume changes and other pop show fripperies to deliver something closer to a regular gig.
A video interlude emphasized the band’s gigging roots, while a drum solo on a rotating kit injected a dash of silly rock theatre.
But an arena of this size is a long way from Youtube cover versions and, with the exception of puppyish frontman Brad Simpson – this generation’s Tommy Steele/Davy Jones/Robbie Williams – who kept up the playfulness throughout, these blandly good-looking dressed-down chaps lacked the collective presence and energy to lift this show beyond a run-of-the-mill zip through their two albums.
Their material was pretty standard upbeat teenage girl bait – with the occasional twist. Alongside the usual sincere boy band declarations of their suit, the devil-may-care Can We Dance just wanted to party, and they were joined by tour guest Conor Maynard to declare that I Found A Girl - and guess what? She prefers girls! “Try me!” screams every other girl in the room.
The Vamps are good fun to hang out with until the next boy band shows up. In fact, they thoughtfully brought one along for our consideration, a teen trio called New Hope Club who joined them on the hip new sound of Simon and Garfunkel’s Cecilia.