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Vladimir / Krooked Saints – Drouthy’s, Dundee – Friday 13th March 2014

It seems a while since I’d caught Vladimir live so Friday’s low key headline show at Drouthy’s seemed an ideal opportunity to rectify that.

Playing the small, packed venue suited them and the relatively lo-fi set-up did nothing to blunt their fiery attack. If the more recent recordings have let in some light compared to the early material, they remain an exhilarating live experience retaining a hint of danger.

Running through effectively what’s their current greatest hits set (including their covers of ‘Born Slippy’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’) their most successful year so far seems to have honed their live skills.

Upcoming single ‘In My Head’, out next month, on this evidence follows the lead set by recent singles in making their songs more accessible without sacrificing any of their identity.

‘Smoke Eyes’ though probably remains the current pinnacle of the live set combining the intensity that seems embedded in the band’s DNA with something which undoubtedly has the potential to appeal to a wider (if not mainstream) audience.

If there’s a surprise about the evening, it’s that there’s not much in the way of new material. I’m used to 12 months making quite a difference to the band’s live set so the fact that they played most of these songs the last time I saw them is a bit unexpected. It doesn’t detract from just how good they are live.

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Support came from Krooked Saints whose heavy riffing rock reminded me of bands such as Gigantic Leaves although QoTSA would probably be a more universal comparison. As ever with these sort of bands I enjoyed Krooked Saints’ time on stage without necessarily being blown away.

Vladimir’s next single ‘In My Head’ is released on 27th April.

The band play the Green Room in Perth on Friday (20th March).

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