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On the Radar - No 151: Vukovi

Words: Chris Cope

Vukovi freely admit that their name makes them sound like a "Polish boy band" - they’re anything but. They are, in fact, an alt-rock band from Ayrshire.

So what does it mean? “The three boys were in band called Wolves before Janine came in so we wanted to come up with a name that was relevant to us,” they say. “After countless suggestions we came up with 'Vukovi', which is Serbian for ‘wolves’. Janine thought it sounded like a Polish boy band name at first, but it grew on her!”

There you go. Not quite as mysterious as it seems, but hey. And this Janine they speak of is Janine Shilstone, the band’s vocalist and owner of an impressive set of pipes. There is often a deathly trap looming ahead for up-and-coming female-fronted rock bands these days – laboursome comparisons to the uber-succesful Paramore – but there are some advantages, it seems.

“We treat Janine as one of the boys! You could say having a female singer makes us that wee bit more memorable and there’s not a lot of them about,” they say.

"You’d think we were talking about an endangered species," Shilstone adds.

“And let’s face it, our name isn’t the easiest to remember,” guitarist Hamish Reilly points out.

Listen to Vukovi’s music however and there's no escaping the sticking point: the hook. Their songs are bundling balls of energy, swathed in assured songwriting and deep production that belies their age – just six months together as a band. And, sure to aid them to no end, there’s so much melody filling up their tracks that they bulge like Augustus Gloop’s waistband. So, how to pigeon-hole this sound?

“Supercharged indie-pop! We all try to bring our individual styles to the table which seems to work quite nicely," Shilstone says. "We try not to compare ourselves to other bands and don’t think about what other people want to hear. If we like it we’ll play it whether it’s a risk or not. No foreplay, straight-to-the-point tunes.”

So what’s next for Vukovi? An age-old football cliché should cover it...

“We’re not rushing into any sort of EP release,” they say. “We want to keep on writing tunes, build up a strong catalogue and develop as a band in general. We keep forgetting we’ve only been together for six months so our priority right now is to build a good fanbase and just take each day as it comes.”

You can catch Vukovi live on the following dates:
11 Mar: The Venue, Dumfries (with Xavia and Room 16)
18 Mar: Fury's, Ayr (with The Underdog Theory)
29 Apr: 02 ABC2, Glasgow (with Fires Attract)
8 Jun: 02 ABC2, Glasgow (with Futures)

Vukovi on: Facebook | MySpace | SoundCloud | Twitter | Bandcamp

Posted by Chris Cope

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