Staring At (Photos Of) The Rude Boys – New Ruts Photobook

There’s a new Hanging Around book release featuring the photography of Virginia Turbett. The book in question features photos of The Ruts (aka Ruts DC – as they are known these days).

The book called “South Of Babylon: The Ruts 1978-1979” is available to pre-order through the Hanging Around Books site and is released on May 27th. Click here to order your copy.

Really looking forward to this one.

Review: Ruts DC – O2 Academy Oxford – February 18th, 2019

My first time for a gig at Oxford – and at this particular venue. The venue is pretty small…would maybe hold 750 tops. I like these size venues though, esp. for GA standing gigs.

The support act was The Professionals, with drummer (and Sex Pistols legend) Paul Cook the only existing original member of the lineup. I didn’t really look up the support act before the gig, so it was somewhat of a surprise when my friend and companion for the gig said that Cookie was playing as part of the support act. I’m getting my quota of drumming legends in these days!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And as I didn’t know the support act that well, I didn’t know much of the material performed, although of course Silly Thing sounded familiar to me when it started. I think if I have things right they also performed Just Another Dream and Join The Professionals. Pretty sure they also performed I Didn’t See It Coming, and probably did 1-2-3 as well. It was a fast pace set as you would expect from a punk outfit. Short, punchy songs. Lots of energy. I enjoyed their set. Sound level was loud. My ears were stuffed before the Ruts even came on!

230841FA-F60E-42D6-87D4-D0D161A6402A

And as for The Ruts? Well, we were given the full theatrical intro for what is a 40th anniversary tour of their debut album, The Crack. With a backdrop of a huge canvas print of the album’s artwork, they played the whole album in tracklist order, starting with their biggest hit, Babylon’s Burning – which I filmed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And of course, they just got tighter and tighter through the set. Segs seems like he should have been the frontman all along to me. No disrespect to Malcolm Owen intended at all, just me wanting to give credit to Segs. He’s fab and just takes it in his stride. They found an absolute gem of a guitarist in Leigh and, speaking as I did earlier of drumming legends…hell! For me, Dave Ruffy is right up there as one of the best drummers around. Sublime effortlessness.

2491B419-3FF3-4CD5-A575-7C845945CCFB

The setlist is pictured above. Nearly 24 hours later, and my ears are STILL ringing. If you’ve never seen them live and you like this genre of music (punk/ska/rock/pub rock), get along to one of their gigs. You won’t be disappointed. Honestly, they really are one of the best live bands going round right now. They never disappoint, and last night was no exception.

February 2019 – The Start Of Next Year’s Gig List

They are starting to line up like dominos! Firstly, today John Grant announced more gigs for early next year, including Cambridge Corn Exchange on Feb 7th. Caezar play Oran Mor again on Feb 15th – I’m def. going! I’ve also committed to Ruts DC in Oxford on Feb 18th, and now, the Lemon Twigs have just announced a gig at the Roundhouse on Feb 27th.

February is already getting very full. Wow!

Ruts DC – The Hat Factory, Luton – March 31st, 2018

My introduction to Ruts DC was with them being support to The Stranglers when seeing them last March at Cambridge Corn Exchange – and, well, conversely it was SM’s billing of support for them (The Stranglers) on the autumn arena leg of the Big Music tour that made me explore them more and go and see them in their own right live (again…I had been aware of them for many, many years, but only knew a few of their songs).

And last night that run continued with Ruts’ support being local reggae/dub/ska band ‘easydread’ (small ‘e’, a la easyjet – they are from Luton after all). They were bloody fab! I ran into the saxophonist/co-vocalist on the way out – a very affable chap he was too. He had stopped to talk to another fan. I noticed him giving the guy a business card. I had no funds with me (a rare occasion on being so close to home, I could just take my phone with me and nothing else), so when he was done chatting with the guy I asked him for a card, said I thought they were fab and he told me of their upcoming gig at Esquires in Bedford.

The band are a seven piece combo, with a brass trio of trumpet, sax and trombone. Definitely worth checking out. This was their closer for their set – dedicated to Luton…

On to Ruts DC. WOW! These guys really are still the biz. It was obvious at the Stranglers gig last year. Both I and the OH were blown away by them, and I had promised myself to see them again. There was a short set they did for BBC Radio 6 Music towards the end of last year that was shared via Facebook Live and seeing that just compounded how fabulous they are to me.

6784DD45-FA01-485A-BA94-921C138E0F3E

Amazingly, when meeting Virginia Turbett, we got talking about other bands…who we like, etc (yes, it wasn’t ALL about SM and how many “fruitier” shots of Jim she had…) – and she’s a HUGE Ruts fan!

Rather bizarrely, when I first saw the gig on their FB page, I dithered about going. And continued to do so for WEEKS. I had just been to the SM gigs and so, for one, I was Skinty McSkintface. But I kept pondering it, thinking – it’s local, no travel costs, the ticket price is great…GO ON! And STILL I kept holding off, until Good Friday. I knew I’d end up regretting it if I didn’t go. So, that was it! Mind made up. Ticket bought.

And wow! Never to disappoint, these guys. A-MAZ-ING! An incredible wall of sound resonates from this trio. And they ROCK! Like, REALLY ROCK! They’ve not forgotten their punk roots…only difference is, THEY CAN PLAY! Geez! Can they play! To the degree they make it look like a piece of piss. A cake walk!

Last year, I really didn’t know any of their stuff. But over the year I’ve managed to take in Babylon’s Burning, Jah War and Mighty Soldier – all of which were on the setlist (I think any crowd would string ‘em up if they didn’t do Babylon’s Burning!), but so were Dangerous Minds, In A Rut, West One, Rude Boys, Music Must Destroy and Kill The Pain…all of which are really starting to make in impact on the brain.

I was in the bar last night (no, no drinking…just a place to sit for a bit) and Segs walked past me. I mouthed ‘hi’ to him and he said hello back to me. I couldn’t stop him. What would I say? At that point I was so ignorant, I didn’t even know his name! I just knew he was one of “the boys”. Since then (this morning), I have educated myself some and on who’s who, and a brief history of them.

As for last night and my VERY brief encounter with Segs…well, I wish I could have said, “Hi Segs, can’t wait for tonight. Would you mind signing this for me?” and produce my ticket stub with a pen (yes, Jim…I had a pen on me! Lol). But alas, I felt a fraud for being there and not even knowing his name!

Final words on the gig itself? A masterclass in performance. They are GOOD. Really good. Seriously. GO SEE THEM! I will be in future…again and again.

09661E56-B717-4A75-99D5-BCD1065BE8D2

A souvenir. If only I had had THIS with me for Segs to sign.

The YouTube clip was filmed pretty much where I was standing last night (the guy was behind me and just to my left) and was MUCH better than my Facebook Live clip.