Southend-based, UK Country quintet & purveyors of Cosmic Americana Music, The Ugly Guys release their three track, brand-new EP, ‘Rolling in the Deep’ on the Conquest Music label. The Ugly Guys are also releasing the video to the EP’s accomplished eponymous title track, which is such a skillful country-tinged cover of Adele’s acclaimed 2011 international chart-topper that you’d think the song was countryborn, through and through.
The founder members of ‘The Ugly Guys’ — Paul Shuttleworth and Vic Collins — have been making music together since 1969, when they founded one of England’s first country rock bands Cow Pie.
“Cow Pie… was heavily influenced by American country rock acts like The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo),” observed Craig Chaligne for Louder Than War, who saw them as “an early version of The Kursaals.”
Paul and Vic went on to form The Kursaal Flyers in 1972. The Kursaal Flyers formed an integral part of the ‘Pub Rock’ scene that was flourishing in London and elsewhere around the UK at that time. The Kursaals were one of the few bands to break out of the pub scene when in 1977 they enjoyed a UK Top 20-hit single with their Phil Spectoresque pastiche ‘Little Does She Know’. The rest as they say is history. The Kusrsaals may well be best-known for their charting pop hit, but (as Craig Chaligne so perceptively observes) “deep down the band was a country rock outfit.”
Fast forward to 2003, when a chance meeting led Paul and Vic to explore the prospect of forming a new band to play the cosmic country music they both loved. A call to guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Steve Oliver from Ipsissimus (which later became Jerry The Ferret: another part of pub rock’s backbone) quickly formed the nucleus of the new band, which they named The Ugly Guys, taking the moniker from a much-loved Kursaal Flyers song.
Southend stalwart Bob Clouter (who had played with Mickey Jupp in both The Oriels and Legend, with the Lew Lewis Band and Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack) became the drummer. The bass guitar position was initially held by Mike Steed, then Andy Farrell until 2018 when Nevil Kiddier (formerly of bassist hit makers The Pinkees and Glyder) took up the mantle.
The band’s current line-up fields: Paul Shuttleworth – Vocals; Vic Collins – Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Dobro and Vocals; Steve Oliver – Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Keyboards and Vocals; Bob Clouter – Drums; Nevil Kiddier – Bass and Vocals.
This year, The Ugly Guys celebrates 20 years since the band’s inception and still they champion country music in all its forms to the delight of their many followers, both in the UK and around the globe.
Their latest EP shows The Ugly Guys’ decades-honed skill creating Country, Country Rock and Americana. Watch the video for ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and take in the catchy, layered tune, where you’ll find some quality, varied guitar work and picking, shown in close-up, including Vic Collins on Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, and Dobro, weaving together with Steve Oliver on Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, as well as on Keyboards.
As the sleeve notes put it, “Vic plays some fine finger style guitar as well as dobro and pedal steel, Steve plays mandolin, banjo and electric baritone guitar.”
Lead Vocals come care of Paul Shuttleworth’s classic Country-sounding timbre, but all band members (bar drummer Bob Clouter) contribute vocals. Nevil Kiddier and Bob Clouter contribute the foundation of percussion and bass that subtly underpins the track.
Other tracks include 24 Hours From Tulsa which was a huge hit by Gene Pitney and showcases the pedal steel guitar brilliance of Vic Collins.
Streets of Bakersfield was a Billboard #1 for Dwight Yoakham & Buck Owens. Duelling lead vocals are shared between Paul Shuttleworth and Steve Oliver on this one.
The band are releasing their full album ‘Cover Your Tracks’ 25th August on Conquest Music.
If you’ve a taste for UK-brewed Country that can compete with classic Stateside offerings, check out The Ugly Guys’ latest EP and video. Out now.
Now available on all digital platforms
Rolling In The Deep EP
Check out their video ‘Rolling In The Deep’
- Rolling In the Deep
- 24 Hours from Tulsa
- Streets of Bakersfield