(Photo via the band’s booking agency) The Vapors are a new wave band who formed in 1978. Discovered by Bruce Foxton of The Jam (who went on to be their co-manager with John Weller), The Vapors released the classic singles “Turning Japanese”, “News at Ten”, “Jimmie Jones”, “Prisoners”, “Waiting for the Weekend”, “Spiders” and two LP’s “Magnets” and “New Clear Days” before splitting in 1982.
Since re-forming the band in 2016, The Vapors also released a new album, 39 years after their last LP. The LP “Together” was released in 2020. The band has now announced a string of UK concerts planned for 2023. Special guest support on the tour comes from The Molotovs and Sharp Class for which you can see the dates below.
About The Vapors
The Vapors were signed to United Artists when releasing their first single, “Prisoners”, at the end of 1979, but it failed to chart. Their second single, “Turning Japanese”, produced by the Jam’s producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven, became a big hit and was believed to euphemistically refer to masturbation, although Fenton (the song’s writer) denied that claim in an interview on VH1. After the band broke up in 1982, Fenton alleged in a later interview with Record Collector magazine that lack of record label support was the chief reason for the band’s split, while a planned single release was cancelled without explanation.
After the Vapors broke up, David Fenton joined the legal profession in the early 1990s, concentrating on the legal aspects of the music industry, and from 1999 he worked as a London-based in-house solicitor for the Musicians’ Union. Edward Bazalgette became a television director. For many years Howard Smith ran an independent record shop, People Records in Guildford, the band’s home town. Steve Smith formed the band Shoot!Dispute, which appeared in John Peel sessions, and toured in support of Bruce Foxton; and later joined the rap/rock band 1ST.
After 34 years of inactivity, David Fenton, Ed Bazelgette, and Steve Smith appeared on stage at the Half Moon in Putney on 30 April 2016. With a guest drummer standing in for Howard Smith, they played “Turning Japanese” and then left the stage. The Vapors completed a four-date tour in October–November 2016 with Michael Bowes on drums and continued with six more concerts in 2017 and 10 in 2018.
Below are some videos including a complete concert.
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