Review: A Trip to The 100 Club with Fred Perry to See VLURE, Ebbb and The Era

A Trip to the 100 Club with Fred Perry to See VLURE, Ebbb and The Era.

A queue leading down to the basement is the first whisper of a gig when nipping in from Oxford Street to the sheltered corridor of the oldest independent music venue in the world. Since 1942, when it was the Feldman Jazz Club, the 100 Cub has hosted some of the biggest movements in musical history. From the blues of Muddy Waters and BB King, to 60s mods The Who and The Kinks, the birth of punk with the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Siouxsie & The Banshees, to early shows from Oasis and Suede in the 90s, the club is a landmark institution.

So Young joined Fred Perry, a brand at the heart of British music and subculture, at the iconic venue for a run of shows, curated by the venue, that continue to support the development of the underground live music scene. On the bill for a miserable Monday evening in the first week of December were Glaswegian brothers in arms, The Era and VLURE, and the shadowy, hotly-tipped Ebbb. 

This particular rainy Monday, the stairwell to the depths opens to a foggy haze and a crowd clad in black leather coats and Fred Perry polos. Closer inspection reveals a smattering of VLURE merch and the odd Kneecap wooly hat. On stage is a black, equally sharp-looking harp, guitar, and laptop, behind which the two members of The Era stand. In a move that would make most bands green with envy, the pair play their first gig on a stage that has seen John Lydon, Joe Strummer, and Pete Townshend’s soles traipse its sticky boards. Despite being almost entirely unknown and the first on the lineup, the room is far from empty and as the harp jumps into action, those standing solidly in the front row respond with phones poised, already recording. Beginning tentatively, their set grows in volume and confidence, feeding off the crowd’s enthusiasm. The blend of bass-like harp strings, atmospheric distortion, and earnest vocals make for a dark, heady electronic sound with plenty of promise. 

As The Era’s set closes, the room fills almost entirely and the atmosphere is palpably charged for Ebbb, a trio that have caused quite the industry stir in the last few months. With no music released and an anonymous Instagram presence that consists of zero posts, they have built an almost cultic veneration from a steady and eager fanbase. A brief group hug between the three of them is the last thing to be seen before the room is plunged into a thick fog and red light. The rhythmic drumbeat which signals the beginning of a momentous 25 minutes is utterly hypnotising and succeeds in lulling the entire crowd into a hushed stupor. When the vocals start, the room expands. The crowd, barely visible in the fog, disappears, leaving just the frontman’s echoed cries to reach the heights of a cathedral choir. As quickly as it began, it ends but with a deafening roar. Ebbb are a spectacle that must be experienced rather than read.

An empty stage and a scream that makes a woman in the audience jump ten feet is VLURE’s answer to Ebbb’s tranquillising effect. A flash of acid green light and the Glaswegians hurtle onstage with a confrontational ferocity. A blur of bleached blond buzzcuts the two frontmen spit ‘We are V-fucking-Lure’ to an electric response from the crowd. When their single ‘Cut It’ released in January buzzes through the monitors, the audience is feral and loving every second. A set which pulses with pure hedonism, there aren’t many live shows like it. Hot, sweaty, unhinged, it’s pure mania with an irresistible dance quality that made this year’s Glastonbury audience fizz with excitement. After applause directed to the venue staff and support acts, The Era join their Glaswegian kin onstage for a roaring finale that leaves ears ringing and palms sore. Ending on a high, the 100 Club serves its platter of promising emerging talent with a night showcasing the expansive offering of the alternative electronic scene, spanning the heady, the bone-chillingly intoxicating, and riotous. Don’t miss the next one. 

Also Read: Glasgow’s VLURE Release New Single ‘Heaven Sent’

All photos by Elif Gonen

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