Category Archives: THE UGLY GUYS

THE UGLY GUYS Senior Moments

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…”Gold Fever” however does fit the Americana bill, a popping, muted cowbell adding an urgency and immediacy to the never wasteful guitar strikes and deeply authentic vocals. “Pretty Pretty Lies”, finds Shuttleworth’s voice adding a slightly more fragile tone, bringing an interesting vulnerability to a confident call of country riff and roll, while it’s maybe the Oliver fronted “OL’45″ that possesses the deepest, boogieing groove, where the good times just keepin’ on keepin’ on and a few doowops are added for good measure. However it’s when Senior Moments gets pensive and poised, as it does on “Neil Young In The Dark”, which unsurprisingly is reminiscent of the great man himself, that this band unveil their strongest side. Yes they can rock, yes they can roll and yes they can start a party, but The Ugly Guys can also pull at the heartstrings and remind you of better days gone by and the good times ahead; which is a rare skill indeed.

There may not be many twists or turns on Senior Moments, but with that album title itself alluding to the more mature outlook this collection contains, maybe it would have been more shocking if it did. More importantly however, and through a gentle variety of styles, The Ugly Guys will keep you entertained and celebrating the good things in life and that in itself is reason enough to join them.

Sea Of Tranquility (May 2018)


….Sonically, it’s spectacularly turned in, with guitarist/mandolinist Steve Oliver and pedal-steel player Vic Collins displaying chops the equal of any Nashville sessioneers and a gloss to the mix worthy of Tom Dowd. Listen to ‘Neil Young In The Dark’ for that Southern Soul vibe.

RnR Magazine (May 2018)


Five seniors who bring, with craftsmanship, qualitative ‘feel good’ Americana. That is the essence of ‘Senior Moments’. Nice album!

Keys and Chords (April 2018)


The Ugly Guys are easily the best exponents of Country Rock or Cosmic American Music as Gram Parsons – anyone who worships Bernie Leadon era Eagles, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark and the Parsons- Hillman model of The Flying Burrito Brothers should pounce on Senior Moments post haste.

What sets The Ugly Guys apart from the wannabes is their musical proficiency, songwriting smarts and lead vocalist Paul Shuttleworth’s soulful edge. All songs, save a fine live version of Little Feat’s Willin’, are originals that primarily come from Shuttleworth and guitarist Steve Oliver- all boast a lyricism that’s closer to Texas storytellers like Robert Earl Keen and Butch Hancock. There’s also a touch of hard-boiled fiction in the narrative sweep of King Of Dixie, Mama Has Gone, and Handsome Boy. Whereas the evocative Neil Young In The Dark mixes Gene Pitney with Bakersfield Country and E Street Band.

Unlike like many current Alt-Country units, The Ugly Guys can rock out with authority. It’s all there – cry-in-your-beer vocals, keening pedal steel guitar, the hard twang of a Telecaster and the authentic grunt of Pub Rock rhythm section. Once again, The Ugly Guys have made beautiful music.

Michael Macdonald (April 2018)


This is the third album from Americana style band The Ugly Guys. Paul Shuttleworth and Vic Collins were together originally in The Kursaal Flyers who in 1976 had a UK top 20 hit with ‘Little Does She Know’…12 new songs here including ‘King Of Dixie’, ‘Gold Fever’, ‘Ol’ 45′, ‘Neil Young In The Dark’ and ‘Dixie Grass’, there’s also a bonus track…

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (March 2018)

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THE UGLY GUYS Still Twenty-Five In Your Head

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Songs like the wistful country ballad “Neon Sky”, the country and western nugget that is “Plains Of Mexico” featuring nice Spanish guitar, the downhome hoedown of “Uncle Billy” featuring some pretty mean banjo and tasty acoustic guitar and the pure country drawl of “Wind Of Fate”, a heartwarming ballad, are decent enough tracks and make for pretty engaging country rock tunes.

Sea Of Tranquility (September 2015)


The Ugly Guys’ version of ‘White Line Fever’ is decidedly different to the Merle Haggard original. Here, the song is far more richly textured and works very well as an ensemble piece. As for the second anthem – and the title song – it is an encouraging affair for all those oldtimers out there who refuse to grow old and still rock out on a regular basis. ‘Still Twenty-Five In Your Head’ – and who listening to this CD ain’t still?

Music-News (July 2015)


Stand-outs include ‘Neon Sky’, Farrell’s joyful title track, the thoughtful ‘Where Did It Go Wrong’ (by Shuttleworth’s singer/songwriter son Harry) and a jumping take on Merle Haggard’s ‘White Line Fever’. Euphoric, combining the spirit of true country with the devil-may-care swagger that only Brits can manage.

Maverick Magazine (June 2015)


‘Still Twenty-Five in Your Head’ is the fifth album that The Ugly Guys have released since their formation in 2003 and it’s arguably their finest offering to date, blessed with a batch of effortlessly tuneful gems led by ‘Plains Of Mexico’, ‘Rose Tattoo’ and ‘Wind of Fate’.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (June 2015)


…the quintet get down to ‘Plains Of Mexico,’ where Vic Collins shakes the dust with his mariachi strum-and-lace before Steve Oliver takes the strings to the bluegrass pastures of ‘Uncle Billy’ via a strange tempo bump and a Roanoke reference at the start of it. The ensemble aren’t lost like that colony, though, and are led by pedal steel. It shimmers throughout and shoots through the twang and piano of ‘Late Great Golden State’ and the mellifluous cover of Merle Haggard’s ‘White Line Fever,’ whereas ‘Where Did It Go Wrong’ has its bitterness sweetened with a funk riff underneath the melodic flow.

DMME.net (June 2015)

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THE UGLY GUYS Lost In The Badlands

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…The quintet’s collective gun is clearly pointed at timeless target, what with country staple ‘Truck Driving Man’ that they beef up to rev up the final drive, and it might well be celluloid heroism in the likes of the mandolin-swirling boogie ‘A Man’s Gotta Do.’

Yet effervescent opener ‘The Hard Way’ kicks the saloon doors with just the right swagger, and ‘Your Alibi’ packs a parting punch rather than regret in the exquisite mariachi ringing of Steve Oliver’s acoustic guitar. High on humor, even the most smooth songs such as ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Pay’ make one’s ears prick and listen closely.

The GUYS’ delivery is more desert-dry than that of FLYERS, but in such company one wouldn’t get lost anywhere.****1/4

DMME.net (August 2013)


Commercial success has largely eluded vocalist Paul Shuttleworth and pedal steel guitar ace Vic Collins…they’re now operating under the self-deprecating pseudonym of the Ugly Guys, delivering an easy-on-the-ear new Angel Air album whose highlights include ‘Heart River Falls’, ‘The Hard Way’ and a fine cover of the similarly under-appreciated Mickey Jupp’s Modern Music.

Kevin Bryan (July 2013)


…You know you’re in for a cover version when the song is about a ‘Truck Driving Man’. While the Terry Fell original is a lot more bluegrass/Appalachian folk orientated, including a fitting nasal twang by its singer, our five local cowboys managed to turn this into a country sizzler that comes over as seasoned as a taco tastes (I said taco, not burrito…). Great keyboards as well!

The Ugly Guys might not look like the hottest act to step out of a last chance saloon, but they sure deliver the goods with much gusto and bravado!

music-news.com (July 2013)

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