Review: Ugly Kid Joe – Garage, Glasgow

17th September 2015

Thursday saw the 3rd date of the tour of the second coming of Ugly Kid Joe. They’ve been messing around playing shows since 2010 but they’ve finally got round to recording a long awaited new album (review coming soon!).

The Garage is a great venue, and the start of the show sees Ugly Kid Joe’s lead singer Whitfield Crane opening for his own band!… confused? You might well be, but he’s promoting his side project Richards/Crane, a partnership with original Godsmack guitarist Lee Richards. Their Album has many collaborators, including Myles Kennedy, and is well worth a listen!

The set is acoustic, featuring five songs from the album, and is a pretty laid back affair, no heirs and graces, just good, stripped back music. Crane’s vocals are particularly impressive in the acoustic format, and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes with this one, particularly if Ugly Kid Joe’s album propels them to the kind of status they had in the mid 90’s.

9/10

Second up was Australia’s Hailmary, here on their first trip to the UK. They’re your typical Aussie balls-out band, but they have a wee grungy feel to them that sets them apart from the rest… and I quite like it! They left nothing on the stage in their performance and even offer a wee toast to the crowd with some Buckfast in honour of vocalist/guitarist Kevin Curran’s Glasgow heritage. I would have liked to have seen a longer set than the seven songs we got before I pass judgement on them, but the initial view was pretty good

7.5/10

The last time I saw Ugly Kid Joe was in the mid 90’s, so it was a moment of excitement when the lights went down and the bands rap intro (NWA?) blared out before the familiar first chords of “Neighbor” hit our ears, and we were off!

It’s like a time warp, as if no time has passed since 1995, with Whitfield Crane pumping out his vocals with aplomb.

The crowd is in heaven as the band ease seamlessly into “Jesus Rode A Harley” and “C.U.S.T”, during which Crane invited yours truly on to the stage to take a few snaps.

Crane is on top form all night, having bantering, and pointing out people in the crowd to have interaction with, and also making their night.

The solos of twin guitar men Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman are impeccable, and the sound itself is very good, something which thankfully is very common at The Garage.

The newly tattooed Zac Morris on Drums is beat perfect, possibly aided by only wearing a pair of pants in the stiflingly hot venue, and forms a formidable rhythm section with the rubber-legged Cordell Crockett on bass.

With a new record just out, there were some new songs to hear, but we only got one, in the form of “She’s Already Gone”, a song with a cracking riff and vocal melody.

All the classics were in the set, and are all greatly lapped up by the appreciative crowd, particularly the crowd participating with ‘Cats In The Cradle”, ‘Milkman’s Son”, and “So Damn Cool”.

The encore consisting of “V.I.P.”, the 90’s anthem “Everything About You” and a turbo charged version on Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades” to put the cherry on top of the cake, something that they did nicely.

Ugly Kid Joe have grown up, and that’s reflected in their sound. It’s more mature and is delivered with a swagger and warmth that hopefully will be around for a long time, and make up for the wasted years.

The crowd went home happy, with smiles on their faces. So, Ugly Kid Joe……..mission accomplished!

9.5/10

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”28″ gal_title=”Ugly Kid Joe”]

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Review & Photography: Gavin Lowrey

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