Meet VLURE: the Glaswegian Post-Punk Five Piece Fighting for the Dancefloor

Updated: Feb 21

by Charlotte Russell

 
"A massive influence on ourselves is Glasgow, it’s a no bullshit city. People see right through anything that isn’t honest here".
A photograph of the band VLURE
Image: Oli Erskine; 2021

In a society where hours worked and money earnt is held as a moral standard, adopting hedonism in the face of order is seen as almost radical.

As developers continue to gnaw away at our inner cities, rising rent prices and imposed curfews are threatening the future of nightlife venues and cultural hubs across the UK, resulting in a decimated scene that is being pushed further and further underground.


Found beneath the rubble of this rapidly collapsing dancescape are Glaswegian newcomers VLURE, whose post-punk, electro-industrial sound infuses the subversive spirit of punk and the nostalgic, pulsating heartbeat of dance into a steaming musical soup which leaves us fighting for the dancefloor.


"A massive influence on ourselves is Glasgow, it’s a no bullshit city. People see right through anything that isn’t honest here", says frontman Hamish, in the midst of the band’s first headline tour.


Citing Scotland’s second city as a core influence, VLURE remind us that their sound is as much a collage of musical references, as it is a meeting point for members and listeners alike.


Formed in the natural mis-matched way that most friendship groups are born, their multiple inspirations (which range from EDM to classical to psychedelic garage rock) are ultimately superseded by the unifying experience of the city in which they reside.

 

Related: A Culture of Fear: Looking Back On A Year of Tories Censoring the Arts

 

An ever-growing DIY scene, forced into necessity by the council’s imposed 3am curfew on nightlife venues, and perhaps encouraged by the presence of the renowned Glasgow School of Art, appears intrinsic to the city’s very fabric.


In the 1970s, Glasgow council sought to ban the playing of punk music, leading to bands from across the UK flocking to the neighbouring town of Paisley to incite what the more conservative generation of the time saw as uncouth behaviour.


In true cyclical fashion, today we see a theme reappear through the emergence of Glasgow’s famous ‘afters scene’ taking the form via clandestine gatherings in makeshift spaces.


While they may not have upped sticks and laid foundations in a nearby town, these parties display a historic attempt at preserving youth culture much in the same way that the punks did in the 70s.


It seems obvious that this would impact bands such as VLURE’s output - making music for the late-night chancers and nocturnal dancers who are not willing to give up their sacred spaces even for a moment, no matter what form these venues have to take.


VLURE, a Glasgow band photographed by Oli Erskine
Image: Oli Erskine, 2021

While a forceful nod to this subsection of Glaswegian culture seeps through VLURE’s sound - notably their sweat-inducing, synth-heavy debut Heartbeat and the supercharged, industrial pulse of Show Me How to Live Again - the feverish drive of post-punk dominates.


Glasgow’s explosive post-punk, indie scene has seen the likes of Walt Disco, The Ninth Wave, and now VLURE become products of the zeitgeist, existing in an ever-expanding bubble that encompasses the riotous, rebellious and cross-cultural spirit of this genre.


"I think the city just suits post-punk… From the brutalist architecture to the industrial history. There’s something quite gritty about Glasgow and the same can be said for post-punk," says Hamish.


Alongside carrying all of this on their shoulders, one of the most exciting aspects of VLURE is their ability to balance the hyperactive energy of punk, with a wounded, romantic lyricism that muses on an individuals’ own private torment: "It’s all about personal politics - the battle of good and evil we all face with every decision we make throughout each day."


As explored tenfold in their December single, I Won’t Run (From Love), music such as this is reminiscent of the tenderness of our own humanity. In one sense we are all cogs that click together for a common purpose, in the other, we are sentient beings that both individually feel and move and breathe and explore.


Dissonance therefore continues, where the constant pressures and barriers of society challenge collectivism and endeavour to strip us of all the opportunities that brings us joy; lead to the eruption of alternative forms of expression that are perhaps less contrived and more organic than what may have come before.


A product of the Glaswegian urge to push against suppression, VLURE are part of an ongoing historical timeline. Music like this appreciates that it is human beings that make a place whole. That's certainly worth fighting for.

 

VLURE's debut EP Euphoria is out now via So Young Records. Stream their music on Spotify.