Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe co-headline gig
at the Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, 2nd November 2013.
With support from Dead City Ruins.
First up tonight were a new name to many, Dead City Ruins. The Aussie rockers quickly got the party started with their no-nonsense, back to basics classic rock style. Lead singer Jake Wiffen was certainly a charismatic, confident front man, full of in yer face vocals. Not to be left out, guitarists Tommy Teabag and Sean Blanchard, bassist Micky Quee and drummer Andy set about their jobs delivering hard-hitting riffs and bluesy classic rock in equal amounts. With the amps cranked up and choreographed headbanging, the bands energy flowed easily from song to song, with the early doors crowd quickly reacting with an appreciative enthusiasm. A truly great start to the night!
Ugly Kid Joe crashed on stage to a rapturous applause. It’s been nearly twenty years since Ugly Kid Joe became part of a misspent youth but they do not seem to have lost any of that youthful energy. Having seen a resurgence in recent years with festival dates and bigger tours, Ugly Kid Joe are as funked up and rocking out as better as ever. Vocalist Whitfield Crane displays boundless energy as he and the band stormed through the anthems ‘Cats In The Cradle’ and ‘Everything About You’ and also throwed into the set a brilliant cover of the legendary Motorhead song ‘Ace of Spades’. Ugly Kid Joe are a band that don’t take themselves too seriously but at the same time excel at what they do. It’s a good combination to have as they put on a great show which leaves you with a smile on your face and a little nostalgic tingle in the heart.
Skid Row need no introduction. They are firmly part of rock royalty and without them the excesses of 80’s hair metal would have been a mere blip on the radar. I don’t want to get embroiled in the politics that can sometimes surround the band, but lead singer Johnny Solinger did an outstanding job on the vocals and proved to me just what a great presence he is. After all, he has fronted Skid Row for over fourteen years now so I think that says it all. Skid Row opened their set with a new found, youthful energy as they kicked into ‘Let’s Go’ from their latest EP ‘United World Rebellion Chapter 1’. The classics ‘18 & Life’, ‘Monkey Business’, ‘Slave To The Grind’ and ‘Youth Gone Wild’ all featured truly facemelting guitar work from Dave Sabo and Scotti Hill together with a thumping bassline from Rachel Bolan and drummer Rob Hammersmith just shining behind the kit. Skid Row are not a band that are past their prime with tonight’s live performance proving that they are a band that is far from finished. If Skid Row can continue put on great shows like this, then they will surely continue to be a very relevant and fresh band to both old and new fans around the world.
See the full picture sets here:
Words and pictures by Stephen Turner.