Loves Ugly Children was formed in Christchurch in 1989 by vocalist/guitarist Simon Maclaren (blue flesh syndrome), featuring Scott McArthur - guitar, Floss (Angela Leslie) - bass and Simon Crockett - drums (Trawler). after playing its debut gig supporting Dolphin at the subway, the band recorded five tracks in Maclaren’s Old Mill warehouse with Rob Mayes, which appeared on Stagger (Failsafe).
When Floss split with Mcarthur to pursue a relationship with Maclaren, they continued their music as a three piece under another name, with Maclaren singing and playing guitar and a new drummer from Dunedin, Greg. They didn't play any material from the previous line up, though they did decide to revert back to the name Loves Ugly Children. After recording several songs, none of which were released, Greg was offered an album and tour with the Verlaines, and left the band during July ‘90. the Uglies again ceased to exist for nine months, Simon and Floss playing in other chch bands including the hilarious Sex Trash Automobile.
A jam with neighbor Jason Young (Excellent Soul Therapy and Cultivation) during May ’91 led to the reformation of Loves Ugly Children with their first gig only two weeks after that. Quite a few important songs were created in these first two weeks including ‘Good Things’, ‘Strangers Song’ and ‘Love You Dead’ which became standards in the LUC set for the next couple of years. A recording at Arnie van Bussel’s Nightshift studio led to a tape-only release of ‘Good Things’ which went on to be #1 on RDU radio station. the first 6 months saw LUC play many shows, win a war of the bands at The Carlton and tour the South Island, returning to find themselves parked solidly at the forefront of the chch scene.
In mid ‘92 the band received an Arts Council recording grant and recorded the ‘Purge’ ep. This cd-only release, recorded by Bart Barkman, came out on the ‘Flat City’ label in August ’93 and would prove to be central to attracting the attention of Flying Nun. In between the recording and release of ‘Purge’, LUC worked with Rob Mayes and David Wernham on songs for the ‘Avalanche’ cd (Failsafe) which was released before ‘Purge’. One song from that session (‘Good Things’) was later used by Mayes as the title track of the Failsafe compilation ‘Goodthings’. A video was made for the song ‘Bleed’ featured on ‘Avalanche’.
The Uglies continued to have a strong live presence in chch, including a good performance at the ‘Avalanche’ cd release gig (April ‘93) in front of nearly 1000 punters. The band followed this with further local shows drawing large crowds to venues like Warners, helping grow the chch scene along with other prominent bands Pumpkinhead and 147 swordfish et al. LUC slowly built up their national following with successive North Island tours, eventually winning over Flying Nun’s Roger Sheppard, and were signed to the label in early ‘94.
The ‘Cold Water Surf’ ep was recorded in winter ’94, again at Redd Acoustics with David Wernham doing the recording and production. Flying Nun released the self-funded ep in December ’94 and it remains a classic for fans of the band.
The Uglies started ’95 with their second appearance at the Big Day Out in Auckland, having played the first BDO the year before. Other high profile gigs included a support for Ministry at The Powerstation. The band was starting to gain a strong national momentum at this point, and launched into pre-production for their next Flying Nun release, ‘Cakehole’. This album was recorded at Fish Street studios in Dunedin by Tex Houston during April of that year and released in September. During the latter part of ‘95 LUC played in Australia on a Flying Nun bill with Garageland and King Loser, released a single and video for ‘Personal World’, contributed to the Flying Nun ABBA tribute album ‘Abbasolutely’ (they covered ‘Honey Honey’) and ended the year with a well-deserved nine week stint in London.
During their time in the UK, Loves Ugly recorded the ep ‘Suck’ and played many memorable shows before financial constraints forced them home to Aotearoa. 1996 saw them play again at the Big Day Out and eventually relocate to Auckland in winter of that year. The ‘Suck’ ep was released around this time, with an accompanying video, and the band started recording their second album, ‘Showered In Gold’ with Matt Hine from Solid Gold Hell on production duties. More shows followed and they continued recording ‘Showered In Gold’ at York St'A' studio after a master tape containing half the finished album was somehow lost.
1997 opened for the Uglies with a slot at the ‘Burning In The Light’ concert in chch, and a great support for Rocket From The Crypt at The Powerstation. ‘Showered In Gold’ was released in may that year with the video for ‘Six Pack’, followed by yet another national tour to support the album release. That proved to be the last tour for drummer Jason Young, who amicably left the band after a solid seven year stint on the drum stool to pursue other musical projects, including playing bass in Future Stupid and later drumming again in The Unusuals.
For the last year of their existence, LUC employed the drumming talents of Paul Reid (The Urinators), a young chap from chch who left school and home to move to Auckland to work with the band. He featured in the last ever LUC video, ‘Voodoo Girl’ and toured with them to Australia before Simon and Floss parted as a couple in September ‘98, thus ending the career of Loves Ugly Children.
Floss went on to open the Auckland band space ‘The Killing Room’. Paul Reid started the band Rubicon and became a regular on the tv soap ‘Shortland Street’.
Simon Mclaren went on to form the Subliminals and then his own melodic project, Sleepers Union, eventually recruiting a band that would include JPSE veteran Dave Yetton.
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