Ugly Kid Joe Being Electric Energy To The Ballroom

It’s a Sunday night, and the atmosphere at The Electric Ballroom is literally electric as the doors open to a huge queue that has snaked all the way down Camden High Street. Us fans are all waiting to witness Ugly Kid Joe on the final leg of their Rad Wings Of Destiny UK Tour along with the impressive The Virginmarys.

Ugly Kid Joe

The Electric Ballroom, Camden – 24 March 2024

Photography: Eric Duvet

Words: Sara Harding

Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

What I love about Ugly Kid Joe is the band’s clear love for coming across the pond from the US of A. Frontman Whitfield Crane is clearly an Anglophile and we are so grateful, as we’ve been treated to a fair few UK tours from UKJ.

These Californians, who first found fame in 1989, are still as relevant now as they were in the MTV Hay Days. And they are still gorgeous. How do they do that?

Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

The band burst on stage with the crowd-pleasing V.I.P, and we were all invited to join the Ugly Kid Joe party. With his on-stage persona, frontman Whitfield Crane is steaming around the stage with his huge energy.

Crane demands attention. His vocals are on point as ever, with that raspy rock voice that can scream and then deliver melody.

Ugly Kid Joe take us through their whole career with a stellar setlist as they chug through Neighbor and Jesus Rode A Harley. There’s a brilliant comradery amongst the band as we are invited to sing along and party on with Crane and co.

Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

The crowd is in full flow, and just before they launch into Devil’s Paradise, Crane asks who has been to the other gigs and then name-checks two fans who have come all the way from Brazil for this tour.

It’s great to hear the new songs and old ones, especially from the latest album drop on this Rad Wings Of Destiny tour. Then it’s on to C.U.S.T and one of my faves, Panhandlin’ Prince.

Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

It’s charged in The Electric Ballroom right now. So when the band deliver one of the best covers I’ve ever heard, Cat’s In The Cradle, we can take a breath and just enjoy the chilled moments and the melodies of this emotive song.

The band continues with a tour through their back catalogue and then surprises us with the Blur anthem, Parklife. Klaus Eichstadt delivers serious riffage as always, and the backline is as tight as ever.

Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

The fun continues with Failure, Goddam Devil, and That Ain’t Livin’. Then it’s time for another killer cover. With a nod to the late, great Lemmy, we get The Ace of Spades.

Penultimately, we hear the song that if this band didn’t play, they would be hung, drawn and quartered. I could literally play Everything About You every day and would never tire of it. To hear it live and loud just brings me sheer joy.

Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

This band deliver and delivers and delivers every time we have the pleasure of seeing them. I am so glad they are back on the world stage where they belong.

I would definitely fly from Brazil to see Ugly Kid Joe any time they are performing.

Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk
Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk
Ugly Kid Joe - The Electric Ballroom - 24 March 2024
Ugly Kid Joe – The Electric Ballroom – 24 March 2024. Photo: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk

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