You would’ve had a tough job peeling Vukovi off the ceiling of King Tuts’ green room prior to taking the stage on Friday evening. Having officially released their debut album, which not only met expectations but blew them completely out of the water, on the very same day as three hundred fans were ready to get their ears melted by one of the hottest bands in Scotland right now. Needless to say, they would’ve been practically levitating by the time their five minute call
The buzz in the venue was clear from the minute I reached the top of the famous stairs, emblazoned with the biggest names in rock who’ve passed through the same doors on the way to their own musical success. Donnie Willow were opening the evening and playing to a busy room which had already spilled round towards the bar. There’s the best part of two hours to go before the headliners are due on and already the place is packed out. Tuts is going to erupt later on. It’s also worth noting that Donnie Willow are, once again, outstanding. Delivering a sound that laughs in the face of the fact there’s only three of them up there.
Following the openers onto the hallowed turf was Critics. Described as alt-pop, they’re not the type of band I expected to be supporting Vukovi and my fears were realised when their performance seemed to go by without too much notice from the large crowd who were teetering on the edge of party-mode. Perhaps Critics’ brand of music will have more appeal to fans further down the road toward their hometown of London on the remaining dates of the tour but in Tuts it just doesn’t come off for them, no matter how much they were putting into it.
As the stage was reassembled, the gathered hoard of fanatics were getting restless and could sense that the proper show is about to begin. It’s not long before the stage lights drop, Vukovi walk out and kick straight into November’s hit single ‘La Di Da’. From there they deliver the whole self-titled album in full with ‘So Long Gone’ thrown in for good measure.
Being treated to no less than four new tracks from the album being aired live for the first time was a massive bonus. The pick of the bunch when Janine decided to slow it right down, prompt everyone to turn on the lights on their phones and stripped it all back for an atmospheric rendition of album closer ‘Colour Me In’.
As if that wasn’t enough of a highlight, the live debut of ‘I’m Wired’ sends the crowd into raptures and instigated a wee bout of crowd surfing that’s rarely seen in a venue as tight as Tuts. it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s so well received, given the song is probably one of the strongest Vukovi have put out to date.
With the reverb still ringing through our ears Vukovi vacate the stage and moments later return to thrash through an encore that wasn’t just about seeing out their allotted stage time. No. Vukovi ramp it up another notch with upbeat hits ‘Target Practice’, ‘Animal’ and set closer ‘Boy George’ to drain every last ounce of energy from a room who’ve just run a musical marathon.
I’ve been to a lot of album release shows but there are few, if any, that can hold themselves up against what King Tuts witnessed on Friday. A band that seem to be on an interstellar rise to the top with an absolute banger of an album in their locker and the chops to perform on the big stage. Finally!
Photos: Alan K. Gray at akgphotos