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Gig Review: Ugly Kid Joe, Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 7th October 2016 @UglyKidJoeBand @RescueRooms

Posted on the 09 October 2016 by Music Vstheworld @musicvstheworld

The first time I saw Ugly Kid Joe, they were supporting Bon Jovi at Wembley Stadium on June 24th 1995. The image of Whitfield Crane climbing up the scaffold tower is my lasting memory of that entire show. The 16 year old me liked that rebellious act a lot!

Fast forward just over 21 years to 7th October 2016, my second time of seeing them is at a comparably tiny venue, Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, and I’m getting up close and personal instead of watching from what seemed like miles away all those years ago.

I arrived just in time to catch Mr Shiraz, the first support act. They were a suitable combination of noisy, brash, bass-heavy in places tunes accompanied by a very smiley singer who knew how to work an audience. Met to appreciative applause, these lads and girl from Huddersfield were an energising opener.



Up next was Tim McMillan. It was just him, an acoustic guitar, and a penchant for making that weird noise caused by slapping your cheek whilst your mouth is open. He’s an Aussie who precedes the songs by tells far-fetched tales in a deadpan voice – you could almost be forgiven for believing what he says, he sounds that convincing. He had the audience in stitches and simultaneously in awe of the music he was playing. He’s really very clever. I’d like to see him again sometime.



When Ugly Kid Joe took to the stage, it was to a thrilled crowd – to say they were enthusiastic in their applause is something of an understatement!


Starting out with an intro, the band minus Crane entered the stage – I must say, Shannon Larkin was dressed (in?!)appropriately in just his underpants for a hot, sweaty night on stage playing drums – you can never un-see some things! Cordell Crockett strutted around the stage with attitude, all the while wielding his excellent bass like a weapon, always ready to attack.


From the very first song, Neighbor (which I noticed was spelt with a U on their set list – boring fact for you there), Crane & co had their audience in the palm of their hand. The room erupted in collective voice, and at points all I could see was hair as a sea of heads was nodding vigorously.


The guys proceeded through a set of consistently popular songs from back in the day – Jesus Rode a Harley, C.U.S.T., Panhandlin’ Prince, Goddamn Devil and Milkman’s Son all made appearances.


Highlights of the set included Crane watching the crowd as they sang Cats in the Cradle at an incredibly high volume setting, hearing So Damn Cool (my favorite UKJ track) and the fitting inclusion of a song we all love, Ace of Spades by Motörhead.


Of course, they ended somewhat predictably with Everything About You, but if they did anything else it would have been disappointing, I think!


The overriding sense I’m left with from this gig is that Ugly Kid Joe are incredibly grateful that people are still turning out to see them all these years later, and that they are enjoying every minute of being so close to their adoring public. This is something that is far more apparent to me in a smaller venue, where expressions and actions can be seen far more easily. An absolute pleasure to witness.


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