Ugly Kid Joe, Hailmary & Richards/Crane @ Sound Control
It was a late start at the Sound Control, although that it did allow for plenty of time for people to get in before the first act even took to the stage. As people filtered through, Sound Control was already starting to heat up but the fans created a simply wonderful atmosphere. There was so many old school fans for the old school rockers. The band has taken a break and have been back on form for a couple of years, yet this is my first chance since Download 2012 to check them out. Coupled with the new album “Uglier Than They Used To Be” released earlier on this year Ugly Kid Joe were ready to put on a good show.
So with a bit of a late start we eventually get our first band the Americana style band Richards/Crane, fronted by Ugly Kid Joe singer Whitfield Crane. Let me tell you it was some of the beautiful music I’ve heard with some amazing acoustic guitar skill. Being an acoustic musician myself I could definitely appreciate the passion and the effort in every single note. I have to say for their second show ever it was well performed from start to finish. The songs were pleasant to listen to, the vocals were amazing with some deeply passionate lyrics and the set flowed really well. Also, the comedic banter coming from Mr Crane himself was pretty damn funny and kept the lively Manchester crowd fully entertained. It was more than an entertaining beginning to, what was going to be a great night.
The Aussie rockers, Hailmary took to the stage and showed everyone what they could do. With a flair of the American hard rock stylings mixed with old fashioned rock and roll they certainly made an impression on me. They just completely owned the stage with an incredible presence and an abundance of personality. I will say that their music was slightly bland, in a hard rock sense. With so many bands in this genre today, you have to make yourself and your sound stand out. However their music, whilst entertaining, was just a little bland. Little more than background music. Yet, the stage presence was so compelling that I couldn’t help but enjoy them. Yes, I’d recommend them and I hope they come back to the UK sometime soon.
Ugly Kid Joe
So the old school US rockers, Ugly Kid Joe hit the stage with an amazing cluster of noise and a hyped up crowd. They cracked straight in to Neighbor and the crowd goes nuts. I should mention that Sound Control is little more than a sweat box at this point. Their set was a fantastic mix of old and new material they kept the set flowing really nicely. The newer songs got a decent response especially the new single She’s Already Gone. Yet, when they started playing the classics, the crowd went simply nuts, with tunes like Cats in The Cradle, Milkman’s Son and of course their mega hit Everything About You, the crowd just ate it all up. Also ending on a cover of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades was a nice touch too. All in all the sound production was decent too, with no one part of the band being more used than the other. Also, the sound came through clear as a bell. The band has a lot of personality and charm and really sold their performance in every moment. They were just great to watch. I love Ugly Kid Joe and will continue to do so. This was a fantastic show and I really need to listen to more Richards/Crane and Hailmary now.
Words: Mick Birchall | Photos: Frederick Apps