Vagrant Lovers

Peckham electro/post-punk duo


Vagrant Lovers are singer, writer and “cultural beacon” Kirsty Allison – the band’s name is taken from one of her poems – and musician/filmmaker Gil De Ray. They started out as a spoken word outfit, with De Ray providing ambient backing tracks. “We were trying to incorporate a literary aesthetic with music… the beat poets of tomorrow,” says Allison. “As we play more gigs, it becomes more energetic, musical and performance-based – kind of ‘lit-tronica’ swamp-dub disco.”

Why Vagrant Lovers?

Debut single ‘Paradise Burns’ – released in September last year – has Allison melting “in the heat of a burning Garden Of Eden”, drawling “It’s so hot, it’s so hot, it’s so goddamn hot” like a delirious Eve lost to the dark side, as wisps of analogue synth and lo-fi percussion swirl around her. Influences span far and wide.

“We’re the result of our deviant tastes, growing up in nightclubs and libraries,” she says. “Gil listens to experimental ambient music, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Sun Ra. I grew up DJing with Irvine Welsh, so electronica and the spirit of disco and acid house are ingrained. We love The Stooges, Suicide, PiL, the Velvets, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, The Modern Lovers, Alice Coltrane and Ludovico Einaudi. The words and style of beat poets are our heartline.”

There’s an album in the offing too, currently being recorded with Snapped Ankles’ Chestnutt.

Tell Us More…

The cerebral force is strong here. The editor of literary/arts quarterly Ambit and founder of cultural mag Cold Lips, Allison has also been described as “the modern Patti Smith”. “We are writing all the time, chanting into the apocalypse,” she says. “I use literature to call out what needs to be said. There’s a savage beauty to life, and great music is about capturing that or escaping from it.”

‘Paradise Burns’ is out on Blang

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