Ruts (Ruts DC) and The Professionals – 21st February 2019 – Newcastle Riverside
The Professionals couldn’t have a more appropriate name when you take a look at their history. Apart from founding member Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols (and more) tonight’s line up also features members of 3 Colours Red, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and The Wildhearts. So it’s safe to say that the stage is no stranger to them. Currently out on tour opening for the Ruts their no-nonsense straight ahead punk rock is a perfect way to warm up the crowd. Although saying that it did take the first couple of songs and a bit of cajoling from Tom Spencer to get everyone on board.
Cook is a powerhouse behind the kit and as a friend of mine pointed out his playing is solid, with tasteful fills in just the right places! It’s short set but they cram in as much as they can both old (Payola) new (Good Man Down) and classic (Silly Thing) with the dual guitars of Chris McCormack & Spencer providing a beefy wall of sound while Toshi & Cook pound it out as a solid rhythm section and big terrace anthem choruses there are certainly much worse ways to start your Thursday night!
Performing an album in full in order can be problematic, particularly if the album has lulls in it. However, The Crack by The Ruts has no such fall downs and tonight the Ruts DC are celebrating its 40th anniversary. The alarm bells and sirens blast from the PA and the trio kick into the fantastic Babylons Burning with as much fervour as it had back in 1979. I was a little worried about this as this track is probably my favourite of the Ruts (I even have the album of remixes just of that track) and I thought I may drift a little. Oh how wrong I was!!
Totally forgetting just how many brilliant songs are on this album; SUS, Dope For Guns, Jah War, Savage Circle, just went to show not only the various musical influences the band had but also the underrated musicianship. Some of Segs bass lines and Ruffys drumming are absolutely phenomenal ranging from full-on punk to dub reggae in style and I was captivated for the full performance which went on after the album with Ruts DC original material from Music Must Be Destroyed as well as the classic Staring At The Rude Boys. The trio (completed by Leigh Heggarty on guitar) looked like they were having an absolute blast bringing the album to life to a Riverside full of old school fans out in force.
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