Click to return to Dave’s Music Database home page.

Released: April 19, 2004

Rating: 3.797 (average of 3 ratings)

Genre: adult alternative rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Leonardo’s Bicycle
  2. Gilbert O’Sullivan
  3. Tambourine
  4. Bimbo in the Limo
  5. Plus Ca Change
  6. Angie Baby
  7. She Cuts Her Own Fringe
  8. Strange Umbrella
  9. Dandelion
  10. Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker
  11. When Raymond Comes Around
  12. I Had a Drink about You Last Night

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • She Cuts Her Own Fringe (?) --

A Terrible Beauty
The Uncle Devil Show
“It's impossible for your heart not to sink on looking at the cover of A Terrible Beauty. Three portly, middle-aged men, clad in unfortunate leather and zebra-skin outfits, and displaying some truly dreadful facial hair and mullets, stare out at the listener. Then, there’s that bizarre band name. A quick look at the tracklisting, with titles such as Sidelong Glances at a Pigeon Kicker…may suggest that this record is that misnomer of misnomers – the comedy rock album.” JM “There’s a big difference here though – The Uncle Devil Show’s album is very funny. Laugh out loud funny in places in fact. Yet even better, the songs here stand up on repeated listening, long after the chuckling at the wry and sardonic lyrics has stopped.” JM

“The Uncle Devil Show is actually the work of Justin Currie from Del Amitri, Jim McDermott from Simple Minds and cult Scottish singer Kevin McDermott,” JM although they work under the pseudonyms of “Jason Barr, Langton Herring and Terrence” WK respectively, “all for no discernible purpose.” STE “Unlike other celebrity side-projects…this isn’t just a bunch of rich mates having a laugh in the studio. Songs such as I Had a Drink About You Last Night or She Cuts Her Own Fringe are at least the equal of anything the band members have been involved with before.” JM

“Given the rather earnest reputation of both Del Amitri and Simple Minds, it comes as quite a shock to hear the bizarre lyrics” JM that suggest “the sensibility of the Uncle Devil Show is closer to that of Mad Magazine (or perhaps more accurately, Cracked Magazine).” STE Perhaps “the alter egos allow all the three to indulge in a spot of adolescent wish fulfillment, an aural midlife crisis where the trio returns to the pop they loved as kids and starts cracking jokes, ranging from the silly to the profane.” STE

“The band have a decidedly surreal quality surrounding them, and their songs tend to deal with topics and themes uncommonly found in popular music – namely, the theft of a bicycle which grants freedom but which breeds contempt, feelings of sympathy for wasps and bees, the practical application of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s music and its ability to help sift out inappropriate partners, talentless TV ‘talent’, and cross-dressing desperates.” WK

The album also relishes in its strange assortment of “points of reference – Gilbert O'Sullivan, Ricardo Montalban, Desperate Dan, [and] musical allusions to ‘Hotel California’ (Strange Umbrella) and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ (‘Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker’).” STE

“The music itself features catchy guitars, vocal harmonies and at times, rising orchestration and strings.” WK The album “was produced by The Uncle Devil Show and mastered by Paul McGeechan. The instrumentation referred to on the CD sleeve is bizarre, to say the least, but fits with the general tone of the band. As a sample, it is claimed that, on particular tracks, the audience could be enjoying ‘school belt and scissors’ or ‘french bread’. The mention of bongos seems somewhat prosaic in comparison, and it’s difficult to know what to make of ‘Terrence on Patio’ or ‘Langton on absinthe.’” WK

“While some might dismiss their efforts as satire or parody, or a one-off joke, there is a lot of evidence that this venture has a lot of thought and heart behind it.” WK “Many reviews have referred to the rewards to be gained from multiple listens.” WK “Not every song is played for laughs…A cover of ‘70s singer Helen Reddy’s Angie Baby is pretty straight-ahead guitar pop, while the aforementioned ‘I Had a Drink About You’ is rather moving.” JMBimbo in a Limo may raise a smile at first hearing (‘I’m terminally w**kered with a poodle on my knee’ for example) but its swipe at shallow celebrity culture is heartfelt and welcome.” JM

“If you share their sense of humor and nostalgia, the Uncle Devil Show can be a gleeful, entertaining excursion into candy-coated pop, filled with sweet, memorable hooks. If you don’t share their perspective, the popcraft is still enjoyable, even if the humor keeps you at an emotional distance. Either way, A Terrible Beauty is a sparking, tuneful, cheerful pop record that's nearly as much fun as it was intended to be – more fun than most latter-day Del Amitri albums, to be sure – and is either a fun one-off project or a promising start for the Uncle Devil Show.” STE

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

previous Justin Currie-related album: Del Amitri’s ‘Can You Do Me Good?’ (2002) Del Amitri’s DMDB page next Justin Currie album: What Is Love For? (2007)

Leonardo’s Bicycle (video)

Check out Dave’s Music Database on Facebook.

Last updated May 4, 2010.