“The first time we played London, there was six people here”, Vukovi’s lead singer Janine revealed to one hundred-plus adoring fans relishing their headlining show at London’s Boston Music Room on March 16th. The rising rock band have gone from strength to strength since their 2011 debut, and this performance made it blaringly visible why.
For about forty-five minutes, Vukovi energetically rocked out to the bops from their freshly squeezed, greatly anticipated eponymous debut LP to an increasingly fervent audience. The band burst onto the stage with latest single “La Di Da”, during which Janine snatched an audience member’s phone to personalize their fan cam. The starter illuminated exactly what an opening number should be – peppy, enchanting, and just plain fun. Energy levels were kept high during the follow up song “Weirdo”, prominently when Janine dragged a thrilled fan (donning a shirt emblazoned with the track’s name on it) onstage with her. The crowd responded particularly raucously to “Target Practice” and Janine’s hyping yells of “one, two, three, HEY!”, which let the band have the last laugh over the unsavory review the track is aimed at.
This level of crowd interaction was the most striking element of Vukovi’s show. Being able to engage and connect with fans is fundamental for any musical act to prosper and, fortunately for Vukovi, Janine has a knack for it. “Let’s get fucking louder!”, Janine roared at the obeying crowd before launching into the angst ridden “He Wants Me Not”. “Why did you wait until now to buy the album?”, she bantered with one long-time supporter. Janine also enacted the ultimate in fan interaction when, during “Target Practice”, she made the rock star move to brave the amped-up crowd (“I’m going in!”), a sweaty melting pot of star struck, tattooed, twenty-somethings, clad in Dr Martens and Vukovi T-shirts.
Janine and the rest of the band showered their fans in reciprocated love, compliments, and thankfulness. There were continuous proclamations of sheer gratitude to everyone in attendance for supporting their album, or for simply just being there to listen to their charming, infectious pop punk melodies. This was wildly vivid during the dreamy “Colour Me In”, where Janine’s face was painted with endearing bewilderment, as she acknowledged many mouths passionately singing along to all of her lyrics.
An abundance of gratitude was displayed by the band to their growing fan base, who got their album to number sixty-two on the UK album charts (a position Janine gushed about). “I can’t put it into words, I just became obsessed”, one fan squealed as she eagerly awaited for Vukovi to grace the stage. This is an insight into the winning formula Vukovi seem to have stumbled upon – churn out bops and breathe new life into them on stage, while continuing to treasure the support of their loyally devoted admirers.
Contrasting to half of the six who apparently left the band’s first London gig, the raucous crowd at Boston Music Room simply couldn’t get enough of their Vukovi fix that night. “I’m not going anywhere”, listeners will hear Janine confidently bellow over “Target Practice”‘s ferocious chords. As Vukovi’s performance at Boston Music Room verified, that declaration is impossible to ignore – or deny.