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Ugly Kid Joe, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons And Yellowcake Rock Shepherds Bush

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a good rock show. Tonight in Shepherds Bush, West London, veteran Californian rockers, Ugly Kid Joe headlined a celebration of fun in what was a real treat for all in attendance. Performing at the Empire, a rather grand venue with a lot of history, the pairing of Ugly Kid Joe and former Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell's new band, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons was one which promised a great time and did not disappoint.

Opening the show was Yellowcake, the new side project from Ugly Kid Joe frontman Whitfield Crane. The band have a very raw and old school minded approach, denying themselves any social media presence and only releasing their demo via cassette tape. While this makes it a little harder to get hold of their music, Yellowcake could very well break into the mainstream soon should they decide to go the more conventional route, as their music is so much more mature than most bands starting out can achieve. Featuring members from Australia and Japan, as well as the United States, this international collective have crafted a Black Sabbath reminiscent sound without being a run of the mill doom band. If you're able to see the group or pick up the tape, I strongly recommend them.

Following Yellowcake was Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, the band which features no less than three of Phil Campbell's sons, (Tyla on bass, Dane on drums and Todd on guitar) as well as vocalist Neil Starr. There were no shortage of Motorhead shirts in the crowd tonight and a pleasing number of TBS ones too, all with the expectation that Campbell Sr. would be continuing where he left off with Motorhead, writing quality rock and roll. The band did not disappoint those who hoped for such and certainly won over many who were unfamiliar with them. Promoting their debut album, "The Age Of Absurdity," songs from the record such as, set opener "Big Mouth," "Take Aim" and "Ringleader" all went down a storm.

There was, of course, a couple of Motorhead covers thrown in for good measure, including "Born To Raise Hell," where they were joined by Whitfield Crane, who featured on the original recording as well as the 2000 live album, "Live At Brixton Academy," and "Ace Of Spades," before finishing with "High Noon" from the "Age Of Absurdity" album. Though for now, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons will be judged as a Motorhead spin off by the public, they're to be judged on their own merit. They rock just as hard as any other band looking to continue the spirit of the greats and they've one hell of a stage presence too.

Finally, it was the turn of Ugly Kid Joe to take to the stage, marking the third set that night for Whitfield Crane. Opening with "Neighbor" from the classic album, "America's Least Wanted," the crowd were whipped into a frenzy from the start, displaying an energy which barely stopped. There was plenty from "America's Least..." brought out tonight, including "Goddamn Devil," "Panhandlin' Prince," "Madman" and "So Damn Cool," as well as the Harry Chapin cover, "Cat's In The Cradle." From beginning to end, Ugly Kid Joe displayed a sense of humour and fun which seems to be sorely lacking in today's music scene, cracking jokes with each other as well as the crowd, making everyone feel included.

Guitarist Klaus Eichstadt assumed lead vocals for "Mr. Recordman," just as he did on the album, which was received very warmly by the audience, while songs from "Menace To Sobriety," which upon release fared better in the United Kingdom than in the United States were also met with a great reaction as "Milkman's Son," "C.U.S.T." and "V.I.P." were brought out, the latter the first in a three song encore which also included "Funky Fresh Club" and the obligatory, "Everything About You." All in all, this show and indeed the whole tour was all about having a good time, something which is a safe bet to assume everybody had.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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