Ugly Kid Joe are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their breakthrough album, America’s Least Wanted, released back in 1992 by an extensive tour playing most of the album each night. Pleasingly, they decided to return to Scotland to the Glasgow Garage.
It had been a few years since I had previously seen them live, so I was curious to see how they would sound now. The good news is that as a band they seem tighter than I even remember and Whitfield Crane is still in excellent voice. Another thing that comes to mind from previous gigs is that Whitfield could work a crowd and, again, that hadn’t changed. In fact, there is an arrogance (not in a bad way) and confidence in knowing he only needs to turn his head sideways with a quick glance over with his eyes and the crowd will sing louder! He did this to great affect on “No One Survives”, where each time he turned round the crowd made more noise.
The band when they hit the more funky songs sound particularly terrific. The interplay between them and the soloing from bassist Cordell Crockett and guitarists Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman on both “C.U.S.T” and “Funky Fresh Country Club” are utterly top notch, with the former having a nice cool drum solo by Zac Morris.
The band were all in shorts (as I remember them from the old days), except for drummer Zac who appeared not to have got the memo and seemed to be playing just in his pants! This was most noticeable during “Cats In The Cradle”, where he was round the front filming on a camcorder. Before starting “Cats”, Whitfield explained how he and Klaus had grown up together on things like Black Sabbath, which were the soundtracks of their lives. He then thanked the fans for allowing them to be part of their’s. Close my eyes and I was back in the 90’s, as it was so perfect sounding, just vocals and solo guitar (Dave).
In Glasgow, they offered us a special treat by playing a track that wasn’t part of the main usual set in “Cloudy Skies” from Menace To Sobriety, which was not only great to hear live, but a nice change of pace and style with its country sound.
Throughout the show, there were some lovely musical moments including the solo on “Busy Bee” (which also had some sweet vocal harmonies) by Klaus, both guitar solos and bass solo on “Same Side” and Dave’s solo on “Panhandlin’ Prince”. On “Panhandlin’”, there was a lot of fun onstage after Whitfield returned to the stage after the solos with the guys winding each other up and laughing away.
As expected, they finished with “Everything About You”, on this occasion dedicating it to two folks in the crowd, especially one lass who surfed several times to great response.
It was great to see and hear a band who still are on form after these years and featuring most of the band that made the breakthrough personnel wise. I laughed, I sang, I kind of jumped up and down a bit, I swayed, I did jazz hands when requested (best audience jazz hands since Devin Townsend). Totally entertained, with some fine songs rattling in my head all the way home.
Support Bands On The Night
There were two supports in Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons and Yellowcake. Phil Campbell’s band went down well with the audience with a good number of their t-shirts amongst the audience. They were loud dirty and had solid grooves and played 2 Motorhead songs in “Born To Raise Hell” and “Ace Of Spades”.
“Get On Your Knees” had a split the crowd in two moment where we were all encouraged to beat the other side singing the chorus. Positive my side won!
Yellowcake are a four piece Black Sabbath meets Soundgarden whilst listening to some late 60’s psychedelia fronted by none other than Whitfield Crane himself. It was interesting to see him standing to the side a lot of the time, watching the rest of the band, really allowing folks to focus on what the musicians are doing. It was wonderful old school and I cannot wait until they release something, preferably CD wise! They only had tapes on sale, but we were told that we couldn’t get them till the end of the night which was impossible for those with public transport to catch. Without doubt, a name to keep your eye on.
Setlist…. 1. Neighbour/ 2. Madman/ 3. Jesus Rode A Harley/ 4. C.U.S.T/ 5. Panhandlin’ Prince/ 6. Come Tomorrow/ 7. No One Survives/ 8. Devil’s Paradise/ 9. So Damn Cool/ 10. Cat’s In The Cradle (Harry Chapin cover)/ 11. I’m Alright/ 12. Cloudy Skies/ 13. Mr Recordman/ 14. Busy Bee/ 15. Same Side/ 16. Goddamn Devil/…. Encore…. 17. V.I.P/ 18. Funky Fresh Country Club/ 19. Everything About You.
Band website… http://www.uglykidjoe.net/