Monday, October 27, 2014

'We're a garage band, we come from garageland...'

In a week that saw the extraordinary news that Wilko Johnson is 'free of cancer' the music world lost reggae singer extraordinaire John Holt, glam rock hero Alvin Stardust, Chas & Dave drummer Mick Burt, 'Baker Street' sax man Raphael Ravenscroft and Cream bass legend Jack Bruce. Talk about not getting something for nothing eh?

On Saturday night Ruts D.C. headlined The Garage in Islington. We gathered at The Music Complex in Deptford on Friday to rehearse for the show - our time together began in the cafe opposite for what Segs dubbed a 'bonding breakfast' and a tactical discussion. Sometime in the next few hours we also found time to visit a secondhand clothing shop (I bought a black jacket which I wore next night at the show) and a Vietnamese restaurant (sweet and sour tofu - excellent!) as well as putting together a 75 minute set which included 'Different View' for the first time since 1982. I remember seeing them play the song several times and have always thought it to be one of the band's best songs so it was great to see it on the setlist at last. Needless to say we then repaired to The Little Crown for a couple of pints of their always - wonderful Guinness, during which Segs and myself suddenly remembered that we'd had a conversation with U.K. Subs guitarist Jet a few weeks earlier when we'd discussed the idea of him playing with us at the gig; text messages were sent, phone calls were made and a plan came together...

4.30pm the next day and we've just soundchecked with the afore - mentioned 'Different View', it's sounding great and spirits are high. We've got Bob behind the mixing desk, Owen is stage managing the evening and we've finished well within our allotted time. But surely we've forgotten something... as if by magic another guitarist appears, plugs into my spare amplifier (a Fender Blues Junior in case you were wondering; I'm using my 'usual' Blues Deluxe) and within seconds we're blasting through 'In A Rut' and sounding, well, like we usually do but with Jet joining us on guitar - in other words, pretty good!  
After meeting up with various people at The Wig And Gown (an excellent punky pub just along the Holloway Road) it was back in time to catch most of the set from opening act The Duel, who sounded the best that I'd seen them for quite a while. Evil Blizzard were up next - with only 30 minutes to work with (I'm sure that they've got songs longer than that!) they got straight into things and left many - an audience member looking bewildered by the end of their first song. Surreal moment followed surreal moment - at one point they even had someone mopping up on the stage! - and I'm sure they had five bass players instead of the usual four at one point. Great stuff, and not an easy act to follow. We'd better get on with it then... and get on with it we did. Even though I say so myself we started well and got better as the show went on, with the only hiccup being a fault with Segs's bass during 'SUS' (Dave stated 'I bet you never thought you'd hear a drum solo at a Ruts show' then proceeded to play one!) Once that was fixed we carried on where we left off, with 'Different View' going down particularly well. In no time at all we're at the end of the set, and Jet joins us for a thunderous 'In A Rut' that brings the proverbial house down. We're on a curfew (there was a club night after our gig) but there's still time for an encore of 'Something That I Said' and 'Society' to finish a truly memorable show. Afterwards there time for a few drinks and to chat to quite a few people, after which we return to The Wig And Gown for, er, a few drinks and, er, to chat to quite a few people - which explains why I didn't get this written up yesterday. Well, I wasn't feeling too good...

But I felt better after reading this review from the always - excellent Elvis In The Clouds blog. Thank you Mr. Presley!


Anonymous said...

Really great performance on Sat Leigh. My only complaint is that there wasn't a duff track in the set list to allow for a toilet break, at least the Damned are considerate enough to play Eloise for this purpose!

I'm really curious to hear what the new album will sound like next year and to hear the fruits of your songwriting contribution. Good luck with it


Leigh Heggarty said...

Thanks Rob, sorry about the lack of toilet time!

See you again at a gig sometime soon

Cheers - Leigh