Red Rum Club + The Hushtones 15.10.21 at The Cavern, Exeter
A new venue for me. In fact I’m a bit of a stranger in Exeter but it’s a decent destination city if looking for live music. Wandered in via the cathedral which I’d not seen before on my limited previous visits.
We are in town for Red Rum Club – there’s a poster on the way down the high street. I was recommended them in Lockdown (cheers Francis FCh) and got hooked. Here tonight with wife Sally and friends and gig buddies Dave and Ann, who found RR Club via another route.
The Cavern is a part of an old post office building – a basement bar and venue in a pedestrianised alley just across from the Guildhall Shopping Centre. Stone steps lead down to this neatly refurbished brick and stone hideaway.
The bar room is a good place to pitch up early to and you can take to the gig room just when a band appears – no standing around in a bland hall.
Not sure I’m fully ‘gig fit’ yet, or maybe I’m in post Lockdown gig burn out after last weekend’s three in three days, but all is not well with the aging lower limbs…. so I was relieved to find a handy corner with a table for us to pitch up at.
Yes we can even see the stage from this vantage point – it’s in a wide corridor between the bar and the brick arches through to the gig room – and delay the final commitment to standing until the last moment – I’ll remember this spot.
Great bar – could do a good party down here I’ll bet. Meantime pale ale and lager and Fightback IPA on the tap, fridges brimming with Brewdog.
It opened as The Cavern in 1991 and the names that have played this 220 capacity venue include Muse, Kaiser Chiefs and Coldplay. So much character in this brick and concrete. Great choice for any smaller band – hard not to feel busy in the gig room with anything over a hundred.
Tonight’s support band are The Hushtones, fronted by Martha Goddard and Mick Campbell.
From Liverpool, pop with prominent keyboards and an easy listen. The ones in the pics, Goddard and Campbell write the songs.
Red Rum Club have had two albums since getting started 2016: Matador (2019) and The Hollow of Humdrum (2020) and there’s an acoustic 2021 Lockdown release. A new album is out in November: How to Steal the World.
They’re now on the same label, Modern Sky UK, as two bands I saw last weekend: Slow Readers Club and Sad Boys Club… what’s with the rise of the ‘club’ thing eh.
The defining sound of this Scouse sixpiece, on so many of their songs, is the trumpet. Nobody Gets Out Alive illustrates this beautifully…it’s almost as though you should cheer as the trumpet (Joe Corby) comes in. Live, it’s loud and rips in.
It’s reminiscent of Theatre of Hate’s Westworld era, in a poppier way, I thought and I see in the band’s blurb they describe themselves as ‘Tarantino-esque’. I get it. A sort of wild west feel to it all – music for a party in a Spaghetti Western. Have a listen: YouTube Nobody Gets Out Alive.
It’s an indie carnival feel in this dark basement with plenty going on from the six in the band – not a lot of room for them up there. The songs I listened for get an airing: Eleanor is something of a favourite and the punchier Kids Addicted , both from the 2020 album…. but it’s hard to deny Would you Rather be Lonely its place as their most popular Spotify play – that’s the line that echoes around later in my head.
There is a lot of film related stuff going on and the song Brando exhibits this. I love the James Dean line:
“….Tell me ’bout your Hollywood phase
Tell me ’bout your hit blue movie
I thought I knew that face
I think you’ll love this place, I know
Just get me in a state
I can be your Brando
Won’t you take my hand?
Won’t you leave with me?
You can be my Audrey
I’ll be your James Dean….”
Front man Fran Doran mentions the pressure of going out on tour just after Lockdown… playing a place called The Cavern… setting it all up and wondering if anyone is going to come out. He needn’t have worried. It’s bouncing.
I’m really looking forward to see what the new album brings. With the uniqueness of the trumpet sound maybe they’re going big. Certainly a band I would have no hesitation in recommending to anyone who isn’t too entrenched in a particular genre.
Another gig in my personal post-Lockdown frenzy is over. 17 gigs and 5 days of festivals since the lifting of restrictions in July – no wonder my feet hurt. I’ve seen 71 different bands in 2021 and there’s plenty more to come hopefully 🤞🤞🎶 Keep it live….gimme my Covid booster.
Hope to be back here sometime – an old punk band would be a good’un. There’s always the Anti-Nowhere League coming up in January 🤔