Ugly Kid Joe arrive in the North East of England for their first show in the area for over twenty years.
The last time we saw Whit Crane and company in the region, they were touring with Bon Jovi during their hay day in 1995. Subsequently, a large crowd of eager fans arrive at The Riverside in Newcastle for a “boozy night out” with Ugly Kid Joe, as Whitfield Crane puts it.
Sporting a Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band t-shirt, Whit Crane leads the band into a rather fitting cover of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”. Crane commands the stage throughout the course of the evening. Ugly Kid Joe still features the core of their classic lineup, and Sisters of Mercy guitarist Chris Catalyst recently joined the band.
Ugly Kid Joe’s high energy, yet nostalgic, set leaves no stone unturned. They walk the audience down memory lane with the likes of the anthemic “Cats in the Cradle”, and the hard rocking “Milkman’s Son”, and “So Damn Cool” from their seminal album, America’s Least Wanted . The latter features some devastating riffs from the guitar partnership of Eichstadt and Catalyst. These tracks sounding just as fresh as they did back in the early 90s.
Following on from the band’s reunion in 2010, Ugly Kid Joe released Uglier Than They Used To Be in 2015, their first album in almost a decade. Of course, there is room for many of their newer tracks in the show tonight, including “She’s Already Gone” and “Under The Bottom”.
Opening artist Tim McMillan joins Crane onstage and accompanies him on guitar for several acoustic numbers, which Ugly Kid Joe doesn’t usually play in concert. These include a beautiful rendition of “Come Tomorrow” and “Cloudy Skies”, each of which charms the audience.
Guitarist Klaus Eichstadt takes the spotlight as he leads the band through “Mr. Recordman”, which he proclaims is the only song he knows how to sing. The night closes fittingly with the group’s much-celebrated hit single, “Everything About You” .
After two decades, Ugly Kid Joe have still got it. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another twenty plus years for their return to the North East of England.