Gig Review: SKID ROW – The Garage, Glasgow, 28 October 2013

For those of you old enough to remember the 80’s I am sure that you would agree that the decade saw some great moments in rock and metal. The 90’s however were to my mind less productive and a bit of a lull set in following the hair metal excesses of the previous years. Grunge came and went and rock lost some of its sense of humour in the process.

There were a few bands though that looked to buck the trend and show that rock still had some balls and knew how to have a good time. Two of those have teamed up to tour the length and breadth of the country and tonight the pairing of Ugly Kid Joe and Skid Row came to prove to the Glasgow crowd that they can still deliver the goods.

Joining the two bands on their UK trek are Aussie rockers Dead City Ruins who have self-financed their trip half way around the world. I only managed to catch the last couple of songs but the guys put in a rocking set which was well received by the crowd. I hope the tour proves to be money well spent.

Next up were Ugly Kid Joe who, judging by the t-shirt count in the crowd, still have a loyal following. Following a long, heavy rap intro track, the band took to the stage and struck up the intro to ‘VIP’. Last to enter the stage was frontman Whitfield Crane still looking like the West Coast surfing dude he always was, just a bit more weather beaten. Crane still has a strong voice and knows how to work a crowd with many sing-alongs and lots of crowd participation.

The set was a run through of their greatest hits with all the tracks you would expect, but two tracks in particular sent the crowd wild. First up mid set was ‘Cat’s In The Cradle’ which saw Crane take a back seat and let the crowd provide the vocals which they did with gusto. The other highlight came at the end of the set when the familiar guitar riff of ‘Everything About You’ was cranked out, cue mass bouncing throughout the crowd. The band though weren’t finished and knocked out a rather good version of Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ to round off their set.

One thing that did blight Ugly Kid Joe’s set a bit was a muddy sound mix and unfortunately this continued into Skid Row’s set. The current line-up have been a constant unit for a number of years now and with the release of their latest EP, ‘United World Rebellion – Chapter 1’, there is a real buzz about the band. This showed in their confident delivery as they hit the stage hard and ripped into new song, ‘Let’s Go’. As with Ugly Kid Joe, Skid Row played things safe and played the hits that the crowd wanted and expected to hear. ‘Piece Of Me’ was followed, surprisingly early in the set, by ‘ 18 and Life’ again with the Glasgow choir providing the vocals.

The only other new track to make the set was ‘Kings Of Demolition’ which was well received but it was the run to the finish that really got the crowd moving. The quartet of ‘I Remember You’, ‘Monkey Business’, ‘Slave To The Grind’ and the ever present ‘ Youth Gone Wild’ encapsulate what Skid Row are all about, melodic hard rock with attitude and swagger in spades. The sound never really sorted itself out though which did take the edge off things a little but both bands showed that although the 90’s may not have been the best for rock and metal but it certainly had its moments!

Review and Photos by David Wilson


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