Colour of Ugly Kid Beards…

IMG_1145In a slight diversion from my usual subject matter, it’s been a fun weekend of distractions which whilst not really related to Ferocious Dog – has certainly involved many of my Hell Hound brethren.  It started on Friday night with a blast from my youth with Ugly Kid Joe visiting the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham.  I used to love them in the early 90’s – before meandering off to the Levellers – my brother retained his love of metal though and accompanied me along with Snotty.

I must admit, my expectations were pretty low – having not really stayed abreast of Ugly Kid Joe developments I was imagining a desperate cash-grab from some washed up 90’s almost novelty-act that I’d never had the chance to see live ‘back in the day’ to a half-empty venue.  As an aside I do remember us listening to them live on the radio supporting Def Leppard at some point, cringing slightly at Whitfield Crane’s lewd references to the joys of blowjobs whilst I think my Mum was listening along with us.. anyway, I digress…

Whitfield Crane has grown up a bit – shorter hair, a suspicious whiff of Just for Men and I’d say a humble demeanour – he seemed genuinely grateful to what was a packed out, not half-empty, Rescue Rooms.  Launching into an intro then straight into Neighbor (the first CD single I ever bought!) it was a cracking performance from the band – with the guitarists throwing solos between one another, Cordell Crockett giving the funky underpinning with his bass and a drummer wearing nothing but pants – with the front man conducting the crowd.

There were plenty of favourites from the first album, including Goddamn Devil, So Damn Cool and Everything About You. A pause for Crane to read out a proposal to a lass in the crowd on behalf of her fella (now fiance – she said yes) was followed by Cat’s In The Cradle, there were also songs half-remembered from my brother’s CD collection in there from Menance to Sobriety and Motel California, and then new songs – which frankly, sounded pretty good – I’ve subsequently downloaded the album, which made today’s long sit on the M42 this morning bearable.

The encore was a rousing cover of Motörhead’s Ace of Spades which got the crowd into one last frenzy before heading out home, cast out of the venue too early as seems to be the custom to allow the place to be cleared to open as some kind of soulless club night, although being over-greedy on the food my bro and sis-in-law had provided before we came out I was feeling tired anyway, so maybe an early night was a good move – and it was a quality one.  So glad that I took the chance to see them, a great opportunity to re-live my youth a bit.

IMG_1156On to Saturday and it was something completely different – we headed up to Doncaster along with Pete, Becky, their three boys and Naomi to take part in The Colour of Time, which was visiting the town as part of an international tour.  Why they chose Doncaster, who knows? But then again, why not?  I hadn’t really read up much on it aside from that it involved pelting each other with powdered paint, that was a pretty damn fine reason in its own right to go in my book!

We trained it over from Thorne and made our way to the start – eerie music started and we followed a procession around  corner, as the music picked up a notch a chav next to me started laughing and filming at a particularly demonstrative dancing bloke to our left, as a number of ‘the crowd’ started a glazed-eye dance-off it became apparent this was part of the performance, as they moved around the crowd looking completely spaced as if spell-bound by the music.

The procession re-started, the crowd was filtered onto the pavement as the dancers took over the road in a strange kind of zombie-like fight routine that started making me think of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  Eventually the speakers had wheeled themselves into the square and the dancing took a slightly more semi-erotic turn, eventually leading to drawing on the floor in coloured sand before finally the powdered paint made an appearance, the dancers almost lovingly daubing one another before embracing.

They made their way to a stage in front of the police station where finally the crowd got their hands on small bags of powdered paint and their air became a technicolored haze as we all ended up covered in the stuff whilst compelled to dance to the rhythmic beats of the music.  It was a difficult to describe but wonderful experience that left us all buzzing afterwards, and got us lots of bemused looks on the way back to the train station and on the train.

IMG_1161And finally tonight we’ve been to see The Beards, once again at The Rescue Rooms, supported ably by Brad Dear and his band (Andy on bass and Chris on drums).  We made sure were were in in time to see Brad, and I have to say I think this is the most confident I’ve ever seen him look on stage, to a decent sized crowd in for the support act too.  The new songs he played sounded great, as did of course the old favourites – Special Brew is up there amongst my favourite songs so it was nice to hear it at the end as they were running out of time.

Then it was on to The Beards.  A band called The Beards who sing songs about beards is definitely in the realms of novelty act – but that belies what tremendous musicians and performers these guys are.  They had the crowd – and it was a Monday night remember – buzzing with energy, laughter and song as they packed as much as they could into their set which had a strict curfew of 10pm again, for the cursed club night (although being on a work night I’m not exactly sorry!).

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IMG_1170Whilst the subject matter is one-dimensional there are plenty of musical stylings on offer from blues, power-ballads, rock, funk and plenty of crowd participation.  The costume-changes and pyrotechnics were maybe a little over-sold by the singer, but all in all it was a highly fun-filled evening of singing, beard-stroking and handshaking.  I’m not sure which was funniest, the bass player singling out Snotty to stroke his beard, watching Snotty’s reaction to the second-to-last song or noting the guitarists’ distinct resemblance to Ellis (or Addie, if you prefer).

They were roared back to the stage for a rousing encore of Nothing Better Than a Beard and it was out were cast onto the streets of Nottingham to make our way home.

Finally, back on to my normal subject matter, did you see the awesome t-shirt design that Ferocious Dog are putting out?  They are limiting the production run to 200, and last I heard there weren’t many left should you want to get your hands on one then you need to drop Dan a message on Facebook.  Don’t miss out, when they’re gone, they’re gone!

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