Ruts DC turn back the clocks as they transport the Riverside Newcastle back to the punk rock renaissance of the late 1970s.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Ruts seminal album The Crack. The band’s original bass player John “Segs” Jennings along with drummer Dave Ruffy have been touring the UK relentlessly whilst celebrating this important milestone. The cornerstone of this musical jubilee being a live performance of The Ruts timeless classic in full.

Of course, The Crack was The Ruts debut release as well as being the only studio album to be released by the British punk rock outfit during their short existence. The record went on to receive widespread critical acclaim, as well as producing a top ten hit for the band back in 1979.

Back in the late 70’s when The Crack was released there was a real romanticism about going to your local record store, picking up a copy of your favourite band’s latest album, taking it home and playing it none stop whilst at the same time pouring over the album artwork, lyrics and sleeve notes.

In this day and age and with the advent of streaming music fans appear to consume songs rather than albums; a rather sad state of affairs indeed. This evening Ruts DC transports their fans back to those simpler times by giving them the opportunity to hear this classic album performed in full and as the artist intended.

With The Crack’s iconic album artwork present on the rear wall of the stage, there is no doubt what tonight’s proceedings are all about. A poetic and somewhat scene-setting intro rolls and amps up the atmosphere inside of the room before the trio takes to the stage. Immediately from the off, you can feel just how much this album means to those in attendance. A 500 strong crowd are present this evening to witness this rare airing of The Ruts debut album in full.

Tonight original Ruts members including bass player John “Segs” Jennings, drummer Dave Ruffy along with guitarist Lee Heggarty deliver the album with flawless precision and much enthusiasm. Highlights of which being the band’s anthemic hit single and set opener “Babylon’s Burning”, the infectious “Something That I Said”, the groove-heavy “It Was Cold” along with the reggae-tinged “Jah War”.

Throughout the course of the evening, The Ruts original rhythm section of John “Segs” Jennings and Dave Ruffy come together seamlessly. Although the late Malcolm Owen and Paul Fox are no longer with us, they look over the stage from the artwork situated behind Ruffy, and their spirit is most certainly present this evening.

Performing the album in its original running order results in the almost 45-minute live rendition of The Crack concluding with an incredible airing of “Human Punk”, which still features the original live intro from the band’s 1979 recording at The Marquee.

However, the band aren’t done yet just quite yet. The cherry on the top of tonight’s musical feast being a trio of tracks from Ruts DC’s recent album Music Must Destroy, which in turn brings tonight’s proceedings right up to the current date. This includes a passionate airing of the title track itself, which is dedicated to the band’s fallen counterparts Malcolm Owen and Paul Fox, along with “Kill The Pain” before the frantic “Psychic Attack” closes out the band’s main set.

Watching a band such as Ruts DC revisiting a classic album such as The Crack is certainly refreshing, nostalgic and most importantly incredibly enjoyable. All in attendance tonight would wholeheartedly agree that the music and legacy of The Ruts live on and is in safe hands thanks to its original rhythm section of John “Segs” Jennings and David Ruffy.

Ruts DC
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Event Date: 21-Feb-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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