Scottish trio Vukovi, landed in Stoke on Friday reaching the mid-point of their headline tour on the build up to the release of their highly anticipated new album. Most recent single ‘Behave’ having been released on 26th April. Their nightly line up included boy group Superlove, while Stoke Locals In the Cards joined especially for The Sugarmill stage. A mix of pop punk techno melodies and heavy metal riffs, my expectations for Vukovi were still set high from when I last saw them supporting The Amity Affliction back in 2018. I was eager to see how they’d handle the headlining position.
Making their second appearance in one of my reviews, In the Cards started the night off strong, a steady drum beat marching the crowd straight into the bouncy free the mind mood of the night. Guitarist Danny, wide eyed and teethy grinned, toyed with photographers. Disregarding the significantly lower attendance compared to their last appearance at The Sugarmill, In The Cards used their memorable tunes and weighty vocals to make their presence known. Although a female fronted band isn’t hard to find these days, Amy sets a herself apart from the rest with her incredible vocal prowess.
Bristol trio Superlove brought a boystress energy to the stage, cracking out jokes left right and centre, their sound a satisfying collaboration of indie rock and hard metal breakdowns. We were treated to new single Greener Grass, guitarist Jon Worgan remarking “This is my nans favourite song which is weird because she’s deaf”. Their feel-good vibe kept the room a-buzz and they definitely made a lasting impression with the Stoke crowd and this young journo.
The wait for Vukovi was long but well deserved, launching straight into new single ‘Behave’ with a “Stoke! F*cking yes!” from female front Janine Shilstone. She wasted no time getting up close and person with the front row, her bubbly off stage personality translating perfectly into a great onstage show. Track ‘Weirdo’ from their self-titled album really got the room moving, with its catchy guitar line and self-empowering message, we were putty in their metaphorical music hands from the start.
This was the Scottish trios first time stepping onto a Stoke stage, Shilstone said, “I don’t even fucking know anyone from Stoke but were gonna get along just fine.”. We became some of the lucky few to hear new material ‘Violent Minds’, set to be the premier track on their new album, before the frontwoman said “We’ll get back to the old stuff now, this isn’t fair on you!”. Followed swiftly by C.L.A.U.D.I.A which opened up the first of many mosh pits of the night.
A group of ‘boys’ she called her ‘beachy boys’ were brought up from the crowd and invited on the stage. Janine insisting they take a photo together “like we’re a f*cking boyband or something”, before launching into my personal favourite ‘Target Practise’. The energy given by the whole band was infectious, a giddy smile plastered across my face throughout their set.
La Di Da was rightfully and cleverly chosen to close the show, a sing along, a crowd pleasure, a feel good track, I can’t fault them. Hamish strummed out the last chord of the song before placing his guitar down, letting the note echo as they left the stage.
High energy as expected; they didn’t disappoint. The only let down being that they weren’t on stage for even longer.
Keep scrolling for more photos from Vukovi’s set at The Sugarmill, 10.05.19.
All photos by Joe Williams.