After wowing fans in Sunderland at North East Live, guitar boy band The Vamps took to the stage again as part of SoundWaves 2013.

The four piece, who are being hailed as “the next big thing” joined the likes of McFly, Little Mix, Joe McElderry and Britain’s Got Talent finalists the Luminites in a special open air gig in Bents Park, South Shields.

Meanwhile R&Rs Amelia and Grace Barker caught up with The Vamps guitarist James McVey to find out his views on everything from North East crowds to his plans to still strut the stage when he’s 70!

WHILE summer is often a time to kick back and relax, for The Vamps it’s a bit of a work-fest.

For the boys have not only worked on their new single Can We Dance, which is due out in September, they are also clocking up the miles performing across the country and sharing line-ups with the likes of McFly, Little Mix, Selena Gomez, Olly Murs, Rizzle Kicks and Conor Maynard!

Quite an achievement for a band who has social media to thank for them getting together in the first place.

James said: “I was doing gigs on my own and wanted to make up a band. I found Brad on You Tube and then we found Trist on Facebook, while Connor, the bassist, joined us a few months ago.

“When Brad and myself first formed the band we didn’t know what to call it. We came up with The Vamps, which we didn’t really like, but thought it would do until we could think of a better name.

“Meanwhile we started to have meetings with record labels and the name started to stick so we just decided to stay with it. Fortunately we like it now!”

The band – made up of James, Tristan Evans, Bradley Simpson and Connor Ball – only formed last year but already have an army of fans across the UK.

To date their covers of tracks by Pink, One Direction, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars have logged more than 13million views on YouTube and the band are now looking forward to playing and performing their own material as well as a return trip to the North East.

James added: “North East Live was the biggest show we had ever played and it was awesome. The crowd were great and as we are friends with Conor Maynard and Lawson, it was good to see them play live and then hang out with them backstage too.

“We can’t wait to come back and play in the North East – it’s always fun up there.”

While the foursome are very tight as a band, James admits that their influences and music tastes are a varied mix ranging from the Arctic Monkeys and Foo Fighters to Kodaline, pop punk and Blink-182, all of which come together to form their unique sound.

James said: “We all like to contribute when it comes to song writing– it tends to start with me and Brad and then we take it to the other guys. Tristan is great on drums and the production side while Conner is great on melodies.

“So many great things have happened this year and we are having such a great time.”

Asked if he would still like to be performing when he’s 70 following Jagger’s recent headlining gig with The Stones at Glastonbury James added: “I’d love to! I think one thing we are trying to focus on with the band is to create some longevity so that we don’t fade out after a couple of years.

“We want to be able to play and write our own material for as long as we can and Mick Jagger proves that age doesn’t have to be a barrier!”

And finally a shout out to the girls at St Anthony and St Mary’s School in Sunderland, with James adding: “Thank you girls for coming to see us at North East Live – hopefully we will see you at another show.”

Sound Waves 2013 was organised by South Tyneside Council, with support from Port of Tyne, Colmans and Dicksons.