Tag Archives: The Ruts

Week 35 – TBT 2017 – Staring at the rude boys

Last weekend Dee and I were in Belfast for Stiff Little Fingers‘ (SLF) homecoming gig on their 40th Anniversary tour.  They had a great supporting cast of The Stranglers, The Outcasts and this week’s TBT selection, Ruts DC.

The original Ruts were also around during the punk days, and probably best known for Babylon’s Burning.  Their lead singer died of an overdose, and their guitarist died about 10 years ago. Now a 3 piece band, with the original bassist (Segs Jennings) and drummer (Dave Ruffy), their set had some of their old classics and some newer numbers which sounded great.  The DC in their name is from the musical notation Da Coda, or “go back to the beginning”.

I had the pleasure of seeing Jennings and Ruffy last year when they did an acoustic tour as part of Dead Men Walking, along with Jake Burns from SLF and Kirk Brandon from Theatre of Hate. That was a very intimate gig: Saturday’s was the opposite!

The gig was sold out, with over 5000 tickets for an outdoor event.  The weather gods looked kindly on us, and the gig gods were even kinder. I spent the whole gig in the front row, right in the middle: I was in seventh heaven.  And to cap it all off, Ruts DC were staying in my hotel and I had the pleasure of meeting Segs the next morning.

On the Dead Men Walking tour, they talked about this song,  It was based on a real night out that they were at, along with Jake from SLF and others, where a serious fight broke out and all the various factions got involved.  The song itself is very textured, and tells the story really well.  I hope you enjoy it!

The Ruts – Staring at the Rude Boys

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Music moves me

Don’t you just love it when you hear a piece of music and it makes the hairs on your arms, neck, back – whatever – stand on end? And isn’t it amazing that the same piece of music can do it over and over again? This morning, on a whim, I put on Babylon’s Burning by The Ruts. Bang! Instant thrill, which intensified as the main guitar riff kicked in. A forgotten gem, but it’s going on my regular playlist from now on.

It set me thinking about other tunes that do the same, and wondering if it’s the music itself, or whether it’s a memory associated with the music, that is the cause of the whole hair-standing-on-end thing. For example, if I hear Go For It by Stiff Little Fingers (SLF) or The Dambusters March, I’m immediately transported to the times I’ve been waiting for SLF to come on stage, and I get severe goosebumps. So that’s definitely the memory – though both pieces of music are thrilling in their own right. 

But then, if I hear something like the bass solo in Blondie’s Atomic, or John Paul Jones’ burbling bass line in Ramble On, that’s definitely the music. Same when I hear Hendrix playing Hey Joe. Is the response to them because they’re all well known, classic pieces of music that are deeply embedded in a common consciousness?

I dare say I shouldn’t forget classical music, and the fact that it can have the same effect. 1812 Overture anyone? Or Grieg’s Morning, Holst’s Mars, Rodrigo’s Concierto De Aranjuez or Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake are all incredibly powerful pieces, in different ways. 

And it’s not just the instruments that can have the effect. Cousin Jack by Show Of Hands, Dylan’s The Hurricane – even Flower of Scotland – not only give me goosebumps but can also move me to tears. Lyrics are so important, and I think that every human emotion has been captured by someone at some time – you just need to want to go and find the songs that “speak” to you.