UPON entering the basement of the 13th Note last Saturday night, The National was greeted with a set of rules to be followed. The message read: 1, Don’t be a dick; 2, Have fun; 3, If in doubt re 2, refer back to 1; 4, No guestlists, ever.

For those expecting the fifth rule to be “don’t talk about Fight Club”, it wasn’t that kind of night. Instead, Glasgow gig-goers were treated to a selection of Scotland’s finest emo and emo-inspired acts.

Emo as a genre has a complicated history. The style first originated in the mid-1980s American hardcore punk scene, where bands were known as “emotional” due to their more expressive, confessional lyrics.

Emo’s transition into a more indie-rock form during the 90s, with emphasis on jangly guitars and song structure, inspired a global underground community that lives on to this day.

For Kenny Stewart from gig collective This Is Our Battlefield, who put on Saturday’s show, the genre has a distinct appeal.

“I suppose that many of us discovered emo in our late teens to early twenties,” he says, “which is a time of your life when everything is still shaping, when you still feel ideological – and vulnerable. It’s natural to be drawn to music that’s passionate and raw.

“It’s what continues to attract younger listeners, and for older listeners it’s the nostalgia. Bands like Mineral and American Football have toured Scotland on reunion tours recently.

“It felt cathartic to see such bands reunite at their age – it was like bathing in sentiment.”

For older heads like Stewart, the emo tag in itself was a victim of hijacking. A prominent sub-culture in the 2000s, emo tended to be associated with faux-gothic pop punk acts with connotations of self-harm and depression.

It’s a stereotype that bands and promoters have attempted to avoid, to the point where an entirely new label has been created.

“The term Ecossemo is a bit tongue in cheek,” says Stewart. “We don’t mean it in a pretentious way. Absolutely everyone is welcome at our shows.

“The word originated from people just adding ‘mo’ to things. I jokingly used it to promote one of our events, but I’ve noticed it used by several people now.”

One band from Saturday night who appear quite comfortable with the tag were Aberdeen trio Carson Wells. Mixing intense hardcore with melodic stylings, the band conveyed both key elements of the genre in their rattling set.

Onlookers might have been perplexed by the crowd’s static nature, considering the boisterous energy of the band’s performance.

The lack of moshing couldn’t be misconstrued as lack of passion though. As one fan put it: “The crowds aren’t that energetic but the bands are, so it’s okay.”

“Saturday’s gig was a great example of friends all over Scotland coming together to hang out,” says Ross McLay of the band Carson Wells.

“It’s just a really friendly atmosphere. We definitely feel part of a community.

“One good point worth making is that the same type of show could have taken place with three or four different line-ups. There’s such strength and depth to the scene right now.”

This depth is reflected in the line-up of Strugglefest, an all-day gathering in October dedicated to up-and-coming emo, punk and hardcore acts.

The festival is being launched by not-for-profit label Struggletown Records, whose approach to putting out music and shows is typical of the DIY spirit that is manifest in Scotland’s musical underground.

Label founder Steven Hill explains that they “rely entirely upon the sales of their last record” and that their only goal is to “break even.”

He surmises that emo and DIY go hand-in-hand in this respect, saying: “Although emo is misunderstood by the mainstream, it’s a label attached to inventive, intelligent and emotive bands with a high level of song-writing and dedication to the DIY ethos.

“DIY is important to the scene as a whole.

“Basically, if the bands that influence you behave in a certain way it’s likely you’ll behave that way too.

“There’s zero exploitation. We work with others on an even field, cross-promoting, sharing and getting involved with as many aspects of the community as possible.”

It’s in this spirit that the Ecossemo scene continues to thrive, defiantly operating on their own terms irrespective of mainstream stereotypes.

Strugglefest starts at 3pm on October 10 at Audio in Glasgow.