On June 6th 1993 I took a trip up the M1 for the Sheffield Centenary celebrations which saw Def Leppard play Don Valley Stadium. Support that day was from Thunder, Terrorvision and Ugly Kid Joe. A fantastic day with amazing bands and glorious sunshine. I distinctly remember Whitfield Crane climbing the stage and hanging upside during Ugly Kid Joe's set.
Fast forward 19 years exactly, and I'm once again heading to see Ugly Kid Joe, but this time there's nowhere to climb as they take to the stage at Camden's Underworld. Fozzy had done a great job of getting everyone warmed up and I was lucky enough to be standing side of stage to watch UKJ get pumped up while their intro played.
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With it being the Wednesday before Download, there were plenty of gigs on offer tonight, Slash and Machine Head being notable clashes, but that didn't stop the Underworld drawing a sell-out crowd and as Ugly Kid Joe took to the stage, they showed them just how much they've been missed.
It was an interesting mix of people, but all here to witness the return of Whitfield and co and all were in fine vocal form as they sang along to set opener 'VIP', rapidly followed by 'Neighbor', which took me right back to my early 20s, along with quite a few others here and I overheard the phrase "I wouldn't have missed this for the world" being uttered several times throughout the show.
But the absolute highlight of tonight was the Harry Chapin cover 'Cats In The Cradle'. It's not my favourite song of theirs but it was fantastic to singalong with everyone tonight, with Whit just standing back and admiring the crowd on several occasions, letting us provide vocals. And their hit 'Everything About You' was the perfect way to end the show.
They announced that they had 2,000 copies of an EP (no management, no label) with new material, and they gave this material an outing tonight, and the new songs fitted well with those from the 90s. And what was great to see was a constant stream of people stopping by the merch stand to pick up their copy.
An awesome warm up show before I set off for Download Festival and I can't wait to catch their show there too. Question now is whether this is just a one off return to the UK, or the start of a revived Ugly Kid Joe?
Cats in the Cradle
Make Me Sick
God Damn Devil
Everything About You