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LIVE DATES
2021
'New Clear Days' 40th Anniversary
1 OctClub Academy, ManchesterTickets
2 OctBrudenell Social Club, LeedsTickets
15 OctUnder The Bridge, LondonTickets
16 OctPatterns, BrightonTickets
21 OctThe Cluny, NewcastleTickets
22 OctOran Mor, GlasgowTickets
23 OctLiquid Room, EdinburghTickets
29 OctThekla, BristolTickets

Features

Fan Focus – Mike Philpott

We thought that it would be interesting and fun to do a series of short interviews with fans of the band.Firstly, we have Mike who, as an older fan, has been seeing the band since the late 70s . His happy, smiling face is regularly seen at the band’s gigs nowadays. So, over to Mike…

Name?

Mike Philpott. “Coach” to regulars in The Signalman pub, Brighton

Date of birth/Age?

Nothing to hide here. 23rd May 1964. So nearly 17.

Hometown?

Grew up in Haywards Heath, Sussex. Escaped at earliest opportunity.

Current home?

Brighton.

How did you hear of The Vapors first?

Not honestly sure. Certainly in the music press, almost certainly NME. It may have just been in passing, in the live ads that I’d scour every week, or maybe a gig review, but I certainly remember there being a buzz around them before I saw them, and making the point of getting there early the night I was going to see them for the first time as I knew they were supporting the main band I was going to see and I wanted to catch them. See my book for a much longer explanation, but they definitely weren’t a band I just stumbled on, they were a band that were on the radar before I saw them, and once I had seen them, were very deliberately adopted as a favourite!

When did you first see them live?

In case you hadn’t guessed from the above answer, supporting The Jam. December 1979 at The Brighton Centre. First headline gig was at The Marquee the following February, and a lifetime’s obsession began. They really were a right place, right time band for me, the music was important of course, but the timing of their emergence and my teenage search for identity etc. just dovetailed, and everything around the band then (the members themselves, their friends, the fans we met and the friendships we made) framed the whole thing, and of course are what makes it so special now it’s all been reborn, and I honestly believe, bettered.

New Clear Days or Magnets?

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. If I kept a league table, I’m guessing NCD will have had more plays over the last 40 years than Magnets. But that’s like saying Jalfrezi or Vindaloo? Each brilliant, and each the right thing at the right time.

Favourite Vapors track?

Galleries For Guns. So far.

Best time you’ve seen them?

I’ve stated in the book that it may well be The Cluny in Newcastle (2018). So I’d better stick to that. Not just for the gig itself, but the whole atmosphere of the night from pre-gig meet-up to post-gig drinks outside on that warm summer evening. But how do you compare? Other than scoring out of ten in a number of categories (quality of sound, quality of band’s playing, atmosphere, crowd feel, friendships made on a particular night? Where did you stand? What was the venue like? How cheap was the beer? Where do you stop?) Other than that maybe a Marquee gig in 1980, but don’t ask me which one!

Best Vapors moment/memory?

Has to be New York surely. But many other memorable ones for either silly personal reasons or, earlier on, growing up moments. McDonalds Apple Pies before the Radio 1 “In Concert” recording. Jimmie Jones video recording. Daffodils in Roehampton. Gig at Nell’s after I’d been hospitalised for months. Smuggling Branka to Las Vegas. Dunno. Read the book

Hopes for the future of the band?

None. We’re already into bonus territory, and if it continues then how fantastic and who knows. If it stops tomorrow, nothing but brilliant memories. But I think we all know it’s not going to . Would love to see some recognition and commercial success for the new album when it materialises, and I’d love them to keep going for ever. Vegas was fascinating because I’d never seen such a huge crowd at any form of Vapors show, and what really struck me was that it wasn’t just a small handful of the 8000 there that were singing along to all of the songs they played (not just that one!), it was a huge number of people that knew the words.. So there’s certainly an audience out there!

Other favourite bands?

Oh blimey. The Jam, The Clash, Suede, Blur, Interpol, The Bluetones, REM, The Beatles, The Stranglers, The Strokes, The Cure, The Chords, The Who, Foals, The Fall. Ask me again tomorrow and I may be more eclectic.

Thanks to Mike for answering our questions. We’ll bring you another fan interview soon… Mike has just written a book entitled ‘Time’s Gonna Make Me A Man Someday: Trailing The Vapors‘ detailing his life intertwined with the history of the band which is a fantastic read. The book is available to buy now via Amazon as a paperback or and ebook through the links below:

Amazon UK: ebook paperback

Amazon US: ebook paperback

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