Live Review: Ugly Kid Joe - KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
11th November 2022
Support: Massive Wagons, Chris Catalyst
Words: Cat Finch
Photos: Tim Finch
It’s a chilly, blustery evening in Wolverhampton, the back streets empty of people as The Razor’s Edge team head towards KK’s Steel Mill. But as we round the corner the area comes to life, a mass of fans gathering, eager to enter the venue ready for tonight’s show.
The event kicks off with the multi talented Chris Catalyst performing a one man solo show. We caught his talents just a few months ago when he brought two of his outfits – The Christ Catalyst Band and Eureka Machines – to the smaller room in this venue. With a huge audience tonight he takes to the stage alone, no band to support him, a lone figure on a rather large stage. Yet he proves that alone he can hold his own. The set a mix of rock tunes from his back catalogue in various bands, enough to get the crowd rocking. His charisma shines through as he jokes with the fans between sets, that heavy Yorkshire twang providing warmth on this bitterly cold evening. A cheeky rendition of Aha’s ‘Take on Me’ capping off a great opening salvo.
It’s on to Massive Wagons to carry the show forwards. The darlings of the NWOCR scene, their latest album ‘Triggered!’ released just recently to critical acclaim. The band themselves always a whirlwind of energy and emotion, frontman Baz never one to stand still, the mic stand an extension of his limbs flying all over the stage. With over an hour to fill, it’s a good opportunity for the band to show off a headline worthy set to a new group of fans, although with all the Massive Wagon’s shirts in the crowd I doubt there are many in attendance who are not familiar with the outfit. The set itself is a career spanning affair but it’s the newer material that really strikes home topped off with ‘Fuck The Haters’ and a huge sing along. This band will go far and this is only the beginning for them!
Ugly Kid Joe have quite the job to follow that, and indeed that’s just what they do. The crowd cry out as Whitfield Crane takes to the stage and the band lead off with new number ‘That Ain’t Livin’. As has become the norm in recent years, Neighbor features early on, but part way through the song a powercut strikes. Not missing a beat Whit carries on, barely audible without a mic and lit purely by a guitar tech’s torch, but the crowd joins in and what would have been a hiccup becomes an “I was then when…” event. The band play their instruments, not audible at all but the momentum they started continues. The crowd love it and sing along with ‘Busy Bee’ completely under the power cut conditions before bassist Chris Catalyst gives the crowd a rendition of the Slade classic ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’.
As the power is restored the set continues, ‘Cat’s In The Cradle’ is mid set, an expected encore number, so what else does the band have in store? The answer, a cover of The Kink’s ‘Lola’ for starters which leads into AC/DC’s ‘Dirty Deeds’ performed with the help of those cheeky chaps from Massive Wagons. The final Ugly Kid Joe song of the night is the one song they are most famous for; ‘Everything About You’ gets a huge sing along going before the band bow out with a noteworthy rendition of ‘Ace of Spades’.
Tonight the future of the rock world met the forefathers and, along with some outside factors, put on one of the most memorable shows of the year.