The Vamps, The Aces, Henry Moodie – O2 Apollo, Manchester – 22nd November 2022
Always see the support band..yadda yadda. It’s our ‘thing’. We could name several cases where that’s paid off. Think back to 1978 – which seems a very l-o-n-g time ago and was indeed in the last century when Van Halen went on tour with Black Sabbath and didn’t do too badly in an age when blowing the headliners off the stage was the thing to do. More recently, and with a little more relevance than Heavy Rock giants, I can recall seeing McFly supporting Busted and they too went on to not quite unparalleled greatness, but a career of note (even earning some longevity with the joint McBusted thing…). Look back a week or so and you’ll also find Sigrid on our pages. She too has been headlining the Apollo – saw her first a couple of years back supporting George Ezra. Get the picture?
So for twenty minutes – painfully short maybe, we got The Aces. A couple of marketing cliches spring to mind – promise less deliver more and too much of a good thing leaves one wanting less. The quartet from Utah, the Ramirez sisters, McKenna Petty and Katie Henderson, certainly made enough of an impression to get the hooks in and mark ‘worthy of further investigation’.
They sing how My Phone Is Trying To Kill Me (and there are plenty out in force) and the nouse for being right on top of the issues of a generation where technology and gender are key factors. But their music is bright and lively and as we’re in Manchester, it would only be fair to note the hint of a Smiths vibe about what they do – check Girls Make Me Wanna Die. They’ve cracked the of why and how to make their music move forward with the power of Youtube and social media to spread their message and their songs.
A quick shout out too for Henry Moodie who also played a short set that we managed to walk in on and catch some of. He’s back playing live in May but all over Youtube and like The Aces, taking advantage of sharing music on social media
So The Vamps reach the grand old age of ten. Ten years baby is etched on the scratch plate of Connor Ball’s bass. Probably a lifetime for a band in the genre although Take That has found some longevity albeit in a trimmed-down form.
Adding a bit of pop to the broad church that is At The Barrier, we’re at the extra date, “due to phenomenal demand” says the poster in the eerily empty gents. Remember, we’re a bit more used to queues with long-haired rock and Metal fellers…and it’s the Greatest Hits Arena Tour, but we’re lucky enough to get the more intimate theatre version.
Hits are what we get accompanied by mass singalongs, tons of phones held aloft and a thoroughly good old party vibe. The bars are empty, maybe the majority aren’t old enough so the fun is fuelled on good old joie de vivre rather than intoxication. As to whether The Vamps will be around to celebrate another decade gone remains to be seen. Perhaps there’ll be a new thing by then, so everyone makes hay while the sun shines. Regardless of Vamps, Aces, social media and controlled hysteria, the winner tonight is to witness a young audience enjoying live music.
Henry Moodie online: Instagram
Categories: Live Reviews