Red Rum Club at The Joiners Arms, Southampton 4.5.2022 + El Rey + Ruby J supporting
Wednesday night in The Joiners Arms, Southampton. It’s our third Red Rum Club gig in seven months – drove over with my wife Sally. That illustrates that they’re a newer band I like and previous blogs from The Cavern, Exeter and The Madding Crowd, Bournemouth give some background on the band.
It is surely time for Red Rum Club to step up a bit from the smaller venues – this hat-trick of gigs are in the smallest of places and tonight’s 200 capacity is a sell-out. It’s packed and roasting and we haven’t started yet. (More details on The Joiners venue at the end of my last Spear of Destiny blog .)
We go down the left hand side at the front – I like that view and it’s a few steps back out of any jostling – getting in and out via the toilet corridor is easier than a scrummage through the whole crowd that funnels back to the bar via a narrow section where the small mixing desk is.
Also the idea is I take some photos but yet again the minimal (but appropriate and in keeping) lighting and highly mobile band mean decent Red Rum Club shots remain elusive after three trips – I forgot my trusty pocket zoom last time I saw them.
This was another fine performance, with that fabulous trumpet as the defining ingredient to their Mexican/Wild West sound and danceable tunes and lyrics to sing along to – or mumble and mouth to in my case, mostly.
They play Kids Addicted early, one of their best and so the place is bathed in sweat – I hope Covid isn’t in tonight. Sufficiently warm for some of the band to look distressed later on and bottles of water are shared with the crowd – a mix of ages but largely 20s, likely students, and a noticeable number of women. I so often end up in gigs full of old blokes eh.
Lead singer Francis Doran gets around the small Joiners stage a lot – rarely still and full of dancing – checking up on his five band mates and keeping an eye on the trumpet for cues. Lots of hand gestures to illustrate lyrics – especially on Love Me Like You Want To Be Loved. I’ll have to work on that one.
Eighteen from the latest album has some lyrics to think about (YouTube):
“Do you ever wish you could wake up …18… Would you be happy if you woke up 18?”
Now there’s a question to a 59-year-old.
I grab a phone video of the title track of their latest album How to Steal the World. I don’t like waving my phone about in the air but reckon it’s alright from up against a wall or pillars, or in front of your face, well my face. Same with the camera – which tonight is just about redundant and bathed in condensation too quickly.
Every gig has a surprise somewhere – so what is it tonight, on a visit to a recent regular haunt to see a band for the third time in quite a short period? It’s Ruby J, the first of two support acts. She is an exceptional talent. A Winehouse style voice and a range of musical styles that she tries out on us – just her and her guitar. Any irritations met with a smile and swearing – any lack of overt enthusiasm with a confident, or is it nervous, shrug and another smile. “Do you like Blues?”…..”oh… well I’m playing this anyway.”
She has some tracks on Spotify and here’s one on YouTube, Game of FIFA. There’s a Black Keys cover and she played her new single Try – released Friday 13 May (Played live in Hanley, several months back)
She has played with Red Rum Club before but I haven’t looked up much about her. Surely one for the up-and-coming pile….surely. Ruby J.