Vladimir / King Louie / The Hugs / Blatant Flaws – The Cool Cat Club, Beat Generator Live, Dundee – 7th September 2013

I’m still not 100% convinced that last night’s jaunt to Dundee was the best move I’ve ever made. I’m certainly paying the price for a third late night in a row today and, to be honest, I was probably too tired to enjoy the show as much as I might have done.

However, and it is a big however, I was blown away (again) by the headliners. Vladimir are simply an unstoppable force live at the moment.

With no between song chat it’s all about the music and that music was simply ferocious. I’ve said it before (and Andy said pretty much the same thing last week) but the newer songs have added a greater range of dynamics to the band’s repertoire. That was evident again last night and the effect was to create something like Interpol with added malevolence.

It has to be said too that, good though the second E.P. is, the live versions of the new songs are simply immense and tower over the recorded versions.

That was probably to be expected but the effect was to add more intensity and menace to an already furious mix.

The one minor gripe about the performance was an inclusion in the set – a cover of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ midway through. Not because it wasn’t brilliant, it was, but simply because I would have preferred to have heard another of their own songs rather than a song that everyone (and their dog) seems to have done.

I’m genuinely baffled why Vladimir shows aren’t winning wider recognition across the land because, simply put, they are in a league of their own at the moment.


Blatant Flaws

In terms of the four (four!) supports, KillingFloor had finished by the time I arrived. So the only band that I hadn’t seen before were the second band of the evening, Aberdonians Blatant Flaws.

I enjoyed them but definitely feel that I would have enjoyed them more on another night. Grunge is certainly the dominant influence here, but there’s a little more subtlety than you might normally find in that genre and they acquitted themselves well, not least because it was their first show with new guitarist Dan.


The Hugs

Next up were the Hugs who I only found out the other day are the band formerly known as Playground Tactics (which was what tipped the balance in going out last night).

Short, sweet and melancholic songs were the order of the day and, whilst the name may have changed, the band’s inherent charm remains intact, even if they appear to have worked out now how to all finish a song at the same time! Who knows, maybe a setlist will be the next item on the Hugs Improvement Plan!


King Louie

Finally King Louie. The contrast with the Hugs is startling. Whereas the Hugs are (deliberately) shambolic, King Louie are tight, disciplined and focussed. Their heavy rock blues really shouldn’t appeal that much to me yet, even last night, I found something really likeable about them.

Vladimir are next in action at the Noizy Fest in Glasgow on 28th September then at the Wozniak single launch at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh on 1st November.

The next Cool Cat Club show features Euros Childs, Panda Su and the Wellgreen – at Beat Generator Live in Dundee on 20th November.

There will be more photos from the show next week.