The Uncle Devil Show
From page 79 of Classic Rock Magazine May 2004
‘A Terrible Beauty’
The initial mail-out of this record was a ruse presenting The Uncle Devil Show – three men in zebra-print waistcoats and leather strides – as mysterious newcomers, with names such as Langton Herring. In truth they’re ex-Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie, cult Scottish songwriter Kevin McDermott and former Simple Minds/Silencers drummer Jim McDermott.
Tongues partly in cheek, they’ve made a fine album, with Currie and Kevin McDermott’s tried and trusted songwriting skills combining impressively on tunes about debt collectors, transvestites and a girl who ‘taught her canary to sing the “Ace Of Spades” and then to trash its cage’ . There’s also a strong version of Helen Reddy’s ‘Angie Baby’ and a song about Gilbert O’Sullivan.
With odd, between-song diversions and knowing instrumental nods – part of the guitar solo from The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ is referenced in surrealist gem ‘Strange Umbrella’ – this is a hugely entertaining debut brimming with fine detail. Best of all, perhaps, is ‘Dandelion’: gossamer-light, and packing rich vocal harmonies, its breezy delivery transports the listener to the West Coast of America circa 1972.