Skid Row w/ Ugly Kid Joe @ Electric Ballroom, London

Dead City Ruins, Ugly Kid Joe, Skid Row
Electric Ballroom, Camden Town, London
5th November 2013

There was another reason to celebrate the November 5th in London besides being Guy Fawkes Night – the RoJo Rage Tour hit Camden Town. Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe, the finest “youth gone wild” and “least wanted” of America, were about to set their own brand of fireworks on the Electric Ballroom stage.

Australian rockers Dead City Ruins completed the package, warming up the crowd for half an hour. Loud guitars, sharp beats, high-pitched cries and long curls waving fiercely back and forth… Sadly I only caught the name of two songs, “Broken Bones” and “Damn My Eyes” but I can tell you they were all 110% rock’n’roll attitude. Not exactly something new or extraordinary, but good enough.

It wasn’t their first time there and they surely had a handful of fans screaming along. “Help us out coming back by buying anything on the merch stand”, incited Jake Wiffen close to the end. Not sure if that plea worked out, but I believe many would like to see them again. (4/5)

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The kings of “cheese metal” proved being much alive after all these years – especially singer Whit Crane, who seemed incapable of standing still, and (live session) guitarist Sonny Mayo, with his incredible high jumps.

Split for 13 years, Ugly Kid Joe reunited in 2010 and have just released the EP “Stairway To Hell” ever since, in 2012 (re-released last month with three acoustic bonus tracks), meaning that the approximately 75 minutes of show were a parade of classics. And even “Devil’s Paradise”, “No One Survives” and “I’m Alright”, the songs they played from the aforementioned latest EP, were very welcomed and sung along by the majority of the sold-out venue.

It’s kind of hard to say which moments were the highest, as the whole concert broke the charts, but I’ll drop a few titles such as “Neighbor”, “So Damn Cool”, “Cats In The Cradle” (the Harry Chapin song that Whit used to listen to with his sister when he was a kid), “Milkman’s Son” and “Goddamn Devil”, as I believe the screams of the crowd were slightly louder.

“Now let’s pretend that we went backstage and you guys will scream for us to come back”. We were happy to do so and obvious choice for “the encore” was “Everything About You” – where Whit replaced the last “you” by the name of a woman. I think it was Madeleine Porter, but I honestly can’t say for sure, as the roar of the crowd muffled his words.

But they still had an ace up their sleeves – literally. Showing their appreciation for the British metal, Ugly Kid Joe said good night to London with an amazing cover of Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades”. (5 / 5)

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I had seen Ugly Kid Joe in 1995, when they opened for Van Halen and Bon Jovi, but Skid Row was a first. And since they were one of the first bands to hit the favourite list when I was a kid, it was literally a dream come true. Yes, of course that back then Sebastian Bach was the singer and that when he left I felt it wasn’t the same anymore. But that was 17 years ago, I had plenty of time to grow up and overcome it. Johnny Solinger is an awesome singer and I’m more than grateful for the emotion with which he brought all those songs to life.

“Let’s Go”, from their recent EP “United World Rebellion: Chapter One”, was the opening song and so we went. Oh how we went! “Thick Is The Skin” and “Kings Of Demolition” showed us how their 21st century stuff is just as great, but the classics have a whole baggage that entitles them a much warmer response from the crowd. Like the rumble we produced when the first chords of “18 And Life” echoed, for instance.

Johnny left the stage when Rachel Bolan got hold of the mike to sing Ramone’s “Psycho Therapy”, and when he came back he had his cellphone in his hand saying something like “when this band started cellphones didn’t exist yet. It was still disk and handle. And now here I am tweeting about how much fun we’re having here in London. ‘Cause we want to remember you”. Yes, “I Remember You” came next.

“Quicksand Jesus” opened the encore, and after “Slave To The Grind” Dave Sabo thanked London once again and said how happy and proud he was that 24 years later, we still sang along to every word. “And no matter how old we are we will always be the YOUTH GONE WILD – three little words that everyone screamed at the top of their lungs at the same time the guitarist said them. Epic! (5 / 5)

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino


3 Responses to “Skid Row w/ Ugly Kid Joe @ Electric Ballroom, London”

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