Ruts DC – Live at the 12 Bar Club, London 10th Feb 2014

It’s all about time…

As regular readers of this journal will be aware, we have been encountering much disturbance to the fabric of time of late. All of which takes its toll on both man and machine. So it’s around this year of time when the old Time Machine is due for its 10000 light year service and MoT (Ministry of Time!). And after recent troubles with the Sugar Tongs (a key component of the Random Probability Drive) we decided to nurse her to late Mediaeval London in search of a Blacksmith capable of forging a new pair. Landing in 1635 at the old Forge in an area of London now known as Tin Pan Alley; a suitably skilled craftsman was employed and set to work on our requirement. Meanwhile Sibling in Black, Flores De Negro and yours truly sought sustenance from the Indian sub-continent.

After a quick tune up and the installation of the replacement tongs (and some new sub aqua fittings, as you can never tell where Terra Firma begins and ends in these apocalyptic times!), she was as good as new… It was time to take her for a spin! We glided 379 years into the future in a manner silk like in its smoothness! To our delight and astonishment the remains of what had been the old forge were clearly visible but we were in the heart of London’s West End in an establishment known as The 12 Bar Club.

We found ourselves in good company, a tribe of friendly bon vivants were gathered here for an evening of musical entertainment known as the FFRUK Reggae Punk Monday! A rich bill of entertainment was in store for us – the pinnacle being a, never before witnessed, acoustic performance from, none other than, Ruts DC!

We missed a fair bit of the proceedings whilst partaking of refreshments with some of the gathered mass. We were however fortunate enough to witness the performance of The Duel – a rather spiffing modern punk rock electro type combo fronted by the charming Tara. The Duel sounded great in the 12 bar tonight! Well worth checking out!

The Duel

The Ruts DC took to the tiny stage and received a warm welcome. They were in a buoyant spirit, cracking jokes and generally having a good rapport with the audience. The band tonight was stripped down to the barest essentials for their debut unplugged set. Both Segs and Leigh were using Acoustic guitars, while Dave was armed with just a super-shallow/flat snare and a pair of brushes.

Ruts DC

Given how great this band play together and sound as an electric combo, it would be an understandable concern as to how well their material might translate in an intimate acoustic setting. Fortunately for all present, no such concern was necessary. The sound was top drawer tonight, with super tight rhythms and harmonies and all of the feel/nuance of their material surviving the translation. The audience lapped it up hanging on every beat/note/syllable… Leigh played outside of himself to cover the solo passages acoustically, while Segs was still providing the essence of his bass rhythms as well as delving well into guitar territory (with some subtle use of a delay pedal creating some extra dub-style atmosphere!). Dave was on fine form as ever; seriously this guy could bang a cardboard box with a couple of baguettes and still sound amazing.

Ruts DC 2

The set had a nice balance of material, kicking off with the classic Something That I Said, which was followed by Back Biter. Then a duo from the Animal Now album; Dangerous Minds and Mirror Smashed, which were absolutely superb. It’s great that this material is getting some long overdue live airing.

Next up special guest vocalists Aynzli Jones and Rob Love were invited up to guest for one of the two songs from the modern era tonight, the reimagining of Ruts classic SUS that is Smiling Culture. Which was followed by the other more recent song, Mighty Soldier.

Then there was another from Animal Now the excellent No Time to Kill. With a change of pace next for the brilliant Love in Vain. They built the energy back up again with West One before pulling out the classics; Staring at The Rude Boys and Babylon’s Burning. The crowd were in fine sing-along fettle throughout. Segs mentioned that as the space was so tight in the club that they weren’t going to leave the stage to come back for an encore. So they finished off the evenings proceedings with a blistering acoustic rendition of Society dedicated to Andy who was grinning from ear to ear. Lastly they played the brilliant In a Rut.

Then they left us and the sound system began to play some heavy dub-based tunes. All in all a rather top evening with top company.

Plus the old girl is now purring like a kitten and guided us smoothly and safely back to our own temporal zone from whence this most recent journal entry has been bought to you….





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