The Sound Circus, Bournemouth

Ugly Kid Joe

On a quiet Tuesday night, at about 19:55, three men quietly take to the stage and some gentle acoustic guitar starts wafting over the audience. And while there is still the background chatter, those paying attention are captivated by the sound of Richards Crane, featuring Lee Richards and Whitfield Crane (UKJ’s frontman). While classifying themselves as rock, you could easily be fooled into thinking they perform alt-folk, as the music is fairly easy going, but the lyrics hit home.

Each and every song was well received as the three on stage performed with no pretense. It was not what you would expect as an opening to an evening headlined by Ugly Kid Joe. Richards Crane claimed they loved making music they did nothing to dispel that, just doing what they want to do, and doing it well. After a brief set of 5 tracks and a bit of crowd banter they closed with “Everyone”, leaving everyone was wanting more. Off to the march-booth for a copy of the CD!

Richards Crane
Richards Crane 1234

Next up were Aussie metallers Hallmark, who injected a large dose of energy into the crowd which had swelled to see these guys. It was easy to see where these guys get their popularity from, they work well together, making full use of the stage, as the riffs pummel the slowly growing pit. The crowd enjoyed Hailmary, but did not reciprocate that energy back during each track.

The soundman seemed to be having issues as I felt the vocals were not right for their set, and this marred what was an energetic set that not only raised the temperature in the room, but got everybody ready for tonights headline.

After that energy fuelled set the crowd retreated for some refreshments.

Hailmary 12345

Now, I think I saw Ugly Kid Joe about 20 years ago…but my memory is going – and if that failing memory serves me right they put on a high energy show that everyone enjoyed. Not too mention what might be considered their peak. So to here they were on their way back to Bournemouth it would have been rude not to see them, especially as this comeback has been about 20 years in the waiting!

Their earlier material had a range of styles going on in their sound, from metal to rock, and possibly more importantly funky sound that just tied it all together. The latest album, amusingly titled “Uglier Than They Used To Be” which has more of a rock sound and a reduction in the funk, but still maintains that “UKY” essence.

Starting with an empty set and music pumping out of the sound system, with lights flashing, the anticipation in the room is almost palpable.

As the band take to the stage the cheering starts, and as Whitfield takes to the mic, it is a whole different sound to the one we were treated to earlier.

Opening with “Neighbor” from America’s Least Wanted the growing crowd explode, and this sets the scene for the remainder of the night. Mixing the set with what may be construed as classics with their new material worked well as they gave it their all. the audience was able to take a little respite with the newer tracks, no doubt because of familiarity with the new material. Either way ever track was well received and as the set progressed the energy grew and grew.

A round of cheers went up for “Cats In the Cradle” and the whole room sang along with ease. A classic cover that have made their own with ease. and plays just as well now as it did 20 odd years ago.

Ugly Kid Joe
Ugly Kid Joe 12345678910

After a brief introduction of the band, the introduction of “God Damn Devil” got a large round cheers, and pit started get more and more active. Always great to see a mosh-pit in full affect with nothing but smiles of the participants. By the time “So Damn Cool” hit the speakers the floor was bouncing under foot to the audience.

“Everything About You”, and it was just what was needed to finish off the audience. Everything sounded as good as it did when the song was first released. Closing the set was “V.I.P.” – a great close to a great evening!

It is not very often gig in a small venue where you find a band who are so comfortable just performing that, everything works. Right through to just standing on stage to the audience banter and the sheer pleasure at simply being able to play to a crowd. And this crowd loved it. These guys are a must to see, especially in a small venue, and lets hope this is the start of great comeback, they surely deserve it – so see them before they can only play large venues!

Set Lists
Ugly Kid Joe
Jesus Rode A Harley
Panhandlin’ Prince
She’s Already Gone
No One Survives
Devil’s Paradise
Cats In The Cradle (Harry Chapin Cover)
I’m Alright
Milkman’s Son
God Damn Devil
Hell Ain’t Hard To Find
So Damn Cool
Everything About You

Wake Up
My Sons
Good To Go

Richards Crane
Here In The Light
Left Behind



Words & Pictures by Jon “Ugly As He Ever Was” Musselwhite.
Videos & Moral Support by Dave “Ugly As He’ll Ever Be” Chinners.

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