Ugly Kid Joe + Massive Wagons @ KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton – Friday 11th November 2022

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A co-headline tour that saw both bands get equal billing and more or less equal stage time, Massive Wagons hitting the stage just before 8 o clock. Celebrating a Top 10 chart placing for new album Triggered, the Lancashire quintet were in tremendous form. Baz Mills has always been an animated front man but tonight he seems to be everywhere; stage left, stage right, front and centre and down in the pit gurning for the cameras. Watching their enthusiasm, energy and we-are-all-in-this-together camaraderie brings to mind a band from this very City who were also known for their banging anthems and raucous live shows; our very own Slade.

Massive Wagons

A good selection of new material made the revamped set list including ‘A.S.S.H.O.L.E’, ‘Fuck the Haters’ and ‘Generation Prime’, up tempo rockers that skillfully deliver passionate lyrics with a pointed message that blend with the Wagons quirky sense of satire. And although a few of the older numbers have had to make way they still blaze through the Rick Parfitt inspired heads down, no nonsense boogie of ‘Back to the Stack’ and a thumping ‘Fe Fi Fo Fum’ before closing on the glorious ‘In It Together’. Consecutive top 10 albums, a great bunch of new songs and an increasingly impressive live show – Massive Wagons simply keep on rolling.

Setlist:-

Pressure
Triggered
Bangin in Your Stereo
Back to the Stack
A.S.S.H.O.L.E.
Fee Fi Fo Fum
Germ
Fuck the Haters
China Plates
Please Stay Calm
Skateboard
Generation Prime
Ratio
Nails
In It Together

Ugly Kid Joe

There was a point three songs into Ugly Kid Joe’s set that summed up all that was special about tonight. A power cut plunged the venue into darkness and near silence. Without missing a beat Whitfield Crane simply conducted the crowd to take over singing ‘Neighbor’ and they responded as one, word for word perfect right through until the end of the song. Someone said that moments like this are what makes rock fans the best in the world and how right they are.

Ugly Kid Joe

UKJ always get a warm welcome in the UK and so it is no surprise they keep coming back for more. Growing up worshiping Lemmy, Sabbath and Priest, Whit seems genuinely delighted to have been hanging backstage with KK Downing. He has the crowd responding to his every move right from the time they walk on stage and launch into ‘That Ain’t Livin’ from latest album Rad Wings of Destiny. Challenging Chris Catalyst to perform a local song for local people, the Leeds born bassist gives us ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ as the front man nods along before admitting he didn’t know it.

Ugly Kid Joe

Much much more than just ‘Cats in the Cradle’ and ‘Everything About You’, Ugly Kid Joe have a host of ballsy funked up rockers at their disposal; the likes of ‘V.IP.’, ‘Milkman’s Son’ and ‘Goddamn Devil’ are performed and received with just as much enthusiasm as the aforementioned hits. And after slowing things down for a cover of ‘Lola’, Baz Mills was welcomed back on stage by Whit for an ear-piercing duet of ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’, before ‘Ace of Spades’ saw the show come to an explosive end. There have been some great nights at KK’s in 2022 but it is hard to think of one that could top this – simply outstanding from start to finish.

Setlist:-

That Ain’t Livin’
V.I.P.
Neighbor
Busy Bee
Merry Xmas Everybody
Panhandlin’ Prince
No One Survives
Devil’s Paradise
So Damn Cool
Cat’s in the Cradle
I’m Alright
Failure
Milkman’s Son
Goddamn Devil
Lola
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Everything About You
Ace of Spades