Vic Godard and Subway Sect / Vladimir / Edinburgh School for the Deaf / The Creeping Ivies – Beat Generator Live!, Dundee – 25th  March 2012

Last night saw Vic Godard return to Dundee at the top of a very fine bill indeed put together by Mr Something Going On himself.

First up were the Creeping Ivies. Having heard their excellent ‘Rock’n’roll Party’ EP I was looking forward to seeing them live and they didn’t disappoint. Even without hearing the record it was clear where the two piece guitar and stand-up drum set up were headed given Duncan’s smart red teddy boy coat.

Well the Creeping Ivies delivered exactly what they promised – a retro rock’n’roll party with gumption. The only minor hitch was that Becca snapped a guitar string but a replacement was found  for the last handful of songs.

Next up were the five piece Edinburgh School for the Deaf. The big question was how they would cope without both Ashley and Kieran. The answer? Rather well in fact. The set’s largely familiar from last year in fact there were three times more new members than new songs!

But musically it’s as magnificent as ever and anyone who was worried by the fact that the spectacle of ESFTD might be reduced by the loss of Kieran need not worry. In fact, if anything the addition of Alex and Miko has made them a wilder visual proposition and whereas Ashley would have been the calm at the centre of the storm Aggie seems to positively encourage the mayhem around her. Whoever thought that the band needed an additional  mental guitarist knows their stuff!

Vladimir‘s performance answered a question that has been puzzling scientists for decades – what exactly is at the centre of a black hole? Clearly, it’s Vlad singer Ross Murray. Vladimir may be as undemonstrative as ESFTD are exhibitionist but this band have a fearsome gravitational pull.

For half an hour they sucked in everyone within their orbit and didn’t let them go and if you’re prepared to succumb to their awesome noise, you’ll find, perhaps to your surprise, that they have some pretty awesome tunes too.

If Vladimir solved one question last night they might only have replaced it with another, much more puzzling? How on earth does Peter Mackenzie generate the sound of 4 guitars from just the one instrument?

After that maelstrom, the headliner was almost light relief. Vic put in a great set but it perhaps didn’t quite touch the heights of last year, perhaps because it was just a little less spontaneous.

Those who have been educating me in Mr Godard over the last 12 months did enough so that I knew the majority of the set.

But after a bright start, the set dipped for me due to less familiar material and perhaps due to the evening’s curse of the broken guitar – which meant a change to the running order.

The reshuffle though meant that the set finished largely with some of the punk classics which brought the evening to a rousing climax which was perhaps what a good chunk of the crowd were looking for. Unlike last year this time there was to be no half hour encore but it was still it was a fine end to a fine evening.

Andy Wood interviews Vic Godard here.


One of the highlights from Sunday