Vukovi, A Plastic Rose, Divides at Oran Mor, 15/4/14

“Are we loud enough for yous?” Vukovi’s Janine Shilstone asks the crowd this question ten minutes into the set, at which point there is at least one middle-aged man in Oran Mor wearing earplugs versus at least ten fans wearing tie-dye t-shirts from the merch stand, it is clear who is winning here.

The band are on the second night of a headline tour which will take them all the way to the big smoke of London, tonight the Ayrshire band bring the noise to their closest to home-city.


To warm up the room, fledglings Divides play live for the first time, sounding like early Paramore and enthusiasm.

Then come A Plastic Rose, more veteran performers from Belfast who confess the previous night in Edinburgh has left them hungover, but still manage to deliver an impressive set of art-rock, with a mix of screamo and softer vocal harmonies.

Vukovi hit the stage with ‘Try Before You Buy (Use Your Sex)’, the track is an attention-grabbing opener with spiky riffs and Incubus-style atmosphere.

Shilstone is a spectacle from start to finish: her voice goes from angelic to formidable line by line, and her dancing energises the whole venue.

With manic lighting thrown into the mix, Vukovi have upped their live game in the last couple of years, this comes in time for the release of a long awaited album.

New song ‘So Long Gone’ appeared online last week and signals a move into more complex musical territory.


Guitarist Hamish Reilly gets encouragement from the crowd to nail the technical riff of the intro, which has a bit of the early Twin Atlantic about it.

‘Boy George’ is another new track, with a dark mood which they call “quite sexy”.

The middle of the set comes from past EPs in the form of ‘Thick Skinned’ and ‘Snakes and Ladders’, fan favourite ‘Schwagger’ leads smoothly into a sing-along rock cover of Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’.

During the last song, ‘Target Practice’, Shilstone joins the crowd and initiates a chant-off between opposite sides of the room.

Vukovi don’t want all that quality music and stage presence to be just watched – they want the audience to be having as brilliant a time as they are.

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Words: Ellen MacAskill

Photos: Kate Sam


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