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ConcertsUgly Kid Joe + Skid Row @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK 11/02/2013

Posted on Tuesday, November 05 2013 @ 15:43:06 CST by Dean Pedley
Concert Reviews New Jersey's Skid Row and California's Ugly Kid Joe are currently out across Europe on a co-headline trek. Both bands enjoyed platinum selling success in the early 90's before dropping off the radar for various reasons. Fast forward to 2013 and both are touring in support of new material in the form of EP's Ugly Kid Joe with Stairway To Hell and Skid Row with United World Rebellion: Chapter One. In the battle of East Coast versus West, Sea of Tranquility's Dean Pedley delivers the verdict.

Taking his entrance after his Ugly Kid Joe band mates have played an instrumental intro, Whitfield Crane connects with the audience from the off and the intensity doesn't give way for the next seventy five minutes. Making use of every inch of available space the stage becomes his personal work out zone. Dragging the photographers from the pit Crane allows them to shoot the band from stage left and rear, immersing them in the UKJ experience. Feel good surf rockers 'Jesus Rode A Harley' and 'Neighbor' are greeted like long lost friends and new material 'I'm Alright' and 'Devils Paradise' continue in much the same vein with sardonic lyrics set against funked up riffs. Crane gets the house lights on and arms swaying for 'Cats in the Cradle', the bands best known song which with typical UKJ irony is nothing at all like the rest of their catalogue.

Ugly Kid Joe have always been held with strong affection in the UK and it is clear many are thrilled to see them active once again. This is a band that have rediscovered their spark and as they romp through the glorious kiss off anthem that is 'Everything About You' the audience is left in no doubt that they have witnessed something very special. Crane has always acknowledged his love of Motorhead and a rabble rousing 'Ace of Spades' makes for a suitably chaotic finale. A stunning performance from start to finish, the boys from Venice Beach threw down the gauntlet for their co-headliners.

Set list:- Intro, V.I.P., Dialogue, Neighbor, Jesus Rode a Harley, C.U.S.T., Panhandlin' Prince, So Damn Cool, No One Survives, Devil's Paradise, Cat's in the Cradle, I'm Alright, Tomorrow's World, Milkman's Son, Goddamn Devil, Everything About You, Ace of Spades

Johnny Solinger has been the frontman in Skid Row for some fourteen years although new material has been thin on the ground. The eponymous debut album will always be their calling card, something the band acknowledges with no fewer than seven songs from it featured in tonight's set. Having witnessed Seb Bach squawking his way through many of the same songs twelve months ago it was encouraging to hear Solinger deliver an assured performance on the high energy 'Big Guns' and 'Sweet Little Sister'. Where he comes up short is with the ballads, '18 and Life' and 'I Remember You', as his tendency to bellow out the vocals means they are lacking in the subtleties of the original versions. His attempt to elicit a response from the crowd when encouraging them to take out their cell phones and tweet the bands official site also falls embarrassingly flat.

As for the remaining original members both Scotti Hill and Rachel Bolan are particularly animated, the latter taking the mic to deliver a sneering garage rock tribute to The Ramones by way of 'Psycho Therapy'. Snake Sabo on the other hand wears the look of a man who simply cannot fathom how his band have gone from packing out arenas to playing much the same set in small halls and clubs over the course of twenty years. The encore sees the hair metal onslaught of 'Slave to the Grind' and 'Youth Gone Wild', two songs which should have blown the roof off the Wulfrun but tonight Skid Row are solid enough without truly scaling the heights of their heyday.

Set list:- Let's Go, Big Guns, Makin' a Mess, Piece of Me, 18 and Life, Thick Is the Skin, In a Darkened Room, Sweet Little Sister, Kings of Demolition, Psycho Therapy, I Remember You, Monkey Business, Slave to the Grind, Youth Gone Wild

Review by Dean Pedley
Images by kind permission of Danny at http://www.concertscaptured.co.uk/ - Check out the site for more great images from the show


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