The Vapor’s first performance in New York City since 1981 was a huge success. The concert which held at the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan on Friday 19th October through to Sunday 21st October was made feasible by crowdfunding efforts of interested stakeholders. The band is looking to do a more extensive North American tour very soon. The last show on the Sunday was truly glorious.
Kicking off the show on October 21st was the excellent group called The Split Squad. This band is made up of experienced and talented musicians. Eddie Munoz, the renowned guitarist and Keith Streng with the Plimsouls and The Fleshstones respectively. Clem Burke, the excellent drummer from Blondie was also part of the group. Michael Giblin, the bassist with Parallax Project and Josh Kantor, the keyboardist for Big Jim’s Ego and The Baseball project. All of these people came together to deliver a truly excellent show. They played for 45 minutes and the crowd enjoyed every bit of it. They are well knit outfit and they complement each other exceedingly well. Fans close to the stage had their eyes on them all through the show as they didn’t know when Streng would spontaneously jump off the stage unto the floor to rock his guitar.
The Split squad kicked off their set with a wonderful version of “Superman Says” which was originally written with Scott McCaughey and is included in their first album Now Hear This. They followed this with a performance of Hey DJ which was a criticism of what radio has turned out to be. This song will be on their next project. All of the songs that The Split Squad performed on the day just highlighted how closed knit and tight they all are and how well they work together.
The Vapors are known for their 1980 hit single “Turning Japanese” and they were discovered by The Jam’s bassist Bruce Foxton. Foxton eventually co managed the band with John Weller. The Vapor had two albums that were packed with the band’s style of sharp and spiky pop. One in 1980 titles New Clear Days and the other in 1981 titled Magnets. The band eventually went their separate ways in 1981 and got back together in 2016. Dave Fenton, singer, songwriter and guitarist was a part of the reunion alongside Steve Smith, bassist, Ed Bazalgette, guitarist, and Micheal Bowes, drummer. The original drummer in the group, Howard Smith turned down the opportunity to be a part of the reunion. Bazalgette was also indisposed as he had other commitments so Dave Fenton’s son, Dan Fenton took up the role of the lead guitarist.
The Vapors performed before a screen where the band logo was projected and they kicked off proceedings with their highly anticipated set with the bass heavy version of “Bunkers”. Dan Fenton made his mark immediately as the lead guitarist. Following this performance was the “Live At The Marquee” which had beautiful guitar interplay between the Fentons. A host of other hit songs were performed subsequently that had the crowd in very good spirits.
The Vapors are set to return to their native UK where they will be performing in November and December in places such as Criccieth, Margate, Lewes, Southampton and London. They also have an event set for March at the O2 Kentish Town Forum in London. You can get information on their live schedule from their official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheVaporsOfficial.