Freezing cold weather and snow on the ground failed to put off the large crowd that had gathered at Manchester’s Dry Live for The Rubys headline gig on the Designer Magazine night. With four other bands on the bill, Crawl Space, Moose Patrol, Dakota and The Uptake, there was plenty of live music to keep the crowd entertained before The Rubys took to the stage.
A quick history for those of you not familiar with the band. They are from Manchester and have been around since 2010 releasing a couple of EP’s before putting out their debut album Limelight Parasite in May last year. They’re regulars on the Manchester gig circuit and have had support slots at the HMV Ritz and FAC251: The Factory. They have also received plenty of radio play both in the UK and in the US and are planning a 3 week tour out in the US later in the year.
So back to the gig then which kicked off with Good Times an upbeat rock number with a chunky guitar riff that makes you sit up and take notice, ideal for getting things started. This was followed by After All which has a big sounding 80’s rock feel to it, Simple Minds maybe?
The band clearly have a loyal following with the interludes between songs greeted with chants of “Rubys, Rubys” and during the songs, looking round the room, most people seemed to know all the words!
I’d describe their sound as rock with a commercial pop edge that would make itself very radio friendly and have mass appeal, which is in evidence on Shake You Free which was recently released as a single and has been doing very well both here and in the US.
The band are clearly well-drilled with a tight rhythm section supported by keys and a very accomplished lead guitarist in Tat Sing Kong, add to this a lead singer that is powerful in delivery yet soft in tone and is throughly believable.
Echo was probably my stand out track, which has a melancholy 80’s new wave feel to it with a great chiming guitar riff and shows off lead singer Lee Hunter’s voice at its best.
Overall a well polished set by a band who have their tracks nailed down, I can see how US radio has taken to them, could be big things in the pipeline for these guys.
Good Times, After All, Last Night, Shake You Free, Jesus Girl, Echo, Sun, Not Like You, Say What You Want
You can catch them on their Limelight Parasite tour:
2 Mar – Good ship – London
16 Mar – Water Rats Theatre – London
29 Mar – Manchester235 – Manchester
13 April – 02 Academy – Birmingham
Check out the band’s website here
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