Review: Vukovi, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds

Bristol band Soeur took to the stage at Hyde Park Book Club with their aim to warm up the crowd ready for Vukovi. Soeur easily grabbed the attention of the audience as they stepped closer to the stage whilst moving energetically to the grunge heavy songs. Soeur are set to headline their own shows throughout 2020 and are well worth going to see.

Vukovi have gone through some changes to the band over the past year, now being two original members remaining Hamish Reilly Guitarist and Janine Shilton.

Vukovi’s Janine Shilton was the last of the band members to make it on stage and there was one almighty cheer from the crowd as she raised her arms in the air to announce the start of the show.  Janine got the crowd pumped from start to finish and the energy levels intensified as the gig went on. Janine chatted to the crowd and conversed with ease, having a laugh and joining in with the banter. Vukovi performed their new and old songs perfectly and the band was visibly surprised to hear the crowd sing their songs back to them.  Janine Shilton asked “who knows us?” There was a roar from the crowd and Shilton replied “Wow Leeds, you know us, we appreciate that.”

As the show was nearing towards the end, Janine Shilton invited the crowd to do a “wall of death.” The crowd split in the middle section so that they could run at each other and mosh when the song was at it’s heaviest and grungiest. The crowd did not need much encouragement as they ran and pushed each other around in excitement. There were other people who were picked up by the crowd and they surfed towards the stage where they were safely supported off stage. There were several audience members who invaded the stage and danced with Shilton before re-joining the crowd. The atmosphere was electric and everyone had a smile on their face as they enjoyed the show.

Vukovi as a duo did not disappoint as their performance was faultless and their enthusiasm was infectious.  Vukovi’s album Fall Better cannot be easily labelled as it has so many influences from punk, heavy rock, pop to name a few. The heavy riffs are managed beautifully by the soulful lead vocals. Janine Shilton packs a punch with her delivery as lead vocalist and can match the ferocity of the drummer and guitarist.

Vukovi announced that there wouldn’t be a fake end to the show and the last song meant the last song. True to their word, when their last song was finished they quickly left the stage to the cheers from the crowd. Hamish Reilly slammed his guitar on the floor and slid it across the stage as he was leaving. The guitarists equivalent to the mic drop. As I was leaving the venue, I could hear people mentioning how amazing Vukovi are and how they had been grateful to see them perform.

Words and photographs by Richard Clark


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