RUTS DC + THE PROFESSIONALS – CONCORDE 2, BRIGHTON 12.02.19
I have been looking forward to this gig since the day it was announced and literally had my ticket secured in minutes. There was absolutely no way I was going to miss this.
In 1978/79 I became a big Ruts fan and fortunately saw them perform live on a number of occasions before the sad loss of their frontman Malcolm Owen, who was found dead in the bathroom of his parents’ house in Hayes, from a heroin overdose on 14th July 1980 at the age of 26.
I had the single ‘In A Rut’ and was eagerly awaiting the release of an album. 1979 delivered this and I pre-ordered mine, picking it up from the old Virgin record store by the clocktower in Brighton. I took it home played it and it has been an integral part of my life ever since. Back then the words from the songs on this album really resonated with how I was feeling and being treated, regularly being stopped and searched by the Police because of the way I chose to look. ‘S.U.S’ meant a lot to so many of us back then, as well as tracks such as ‘Jah War’. This album is in my top 5 albums of all time, bring on the gig!
I found out shortly after purchasing my ticket who the support band were and was really surprised to learn that it was “The Professionals”.
The Professionals were formed in 1979 by guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook, both band members of the Sex Pistols. John Lydon had left the Sex Pistols, and both Cook and Jones had sung lead for the late Sex Pistols recordings ‘Silly Thing’ and ‘Lonely Boy’. The current line up on this tour with Ruts DC are Paul Cook (vocals/drums), Chris McCormack (guitar), Tom Spencer (vocals/guitar) and Toshi JC (bass).
On to the gig. Well the punk royalty were here in force tonight. I spotted Jordan of Malcolm McLaren’s ‘Sex’ shop fame, Captain Sensible of The Damned and Timmy DeRella of The DeRellas in the crowd as the Concorde 2 filled to capacity for this one.
On came The Professionals to a massive welcome from the crowd. They kicked off with the first song ‘Join The Professionals’ and I knew straight away they were going to be amazing. Paul Cook looking in his element right up close to the stage. It struck me how talented each member of the band are. With two lead guitars and Toshi on the bass a force to be reckoned with.
Next up ‘Good Man Down’ and all those around me in the crowd were loving this. Each song brought about great appreciation from all of us. Then the crowd went ballistic as the first notes of ‘Silly Thing’, the Sex Pistols cover hit us. Tom Spencer playing guitar and vocals was spot on all night and really delivered as the front man. Chris McCormack was also amazing on guitar, and Toshi blew me away on bass. Paul Cook looked like he was really enjoying this too and is brilliant on his kit.
I knew I would hit the merchandise stall to buy the new album on the way out. I wish I had listened to it before the gig. I have to say that I loved and appreciated every song these guys masterly delivered tonight. If you haven’t seen them, I advise you to do so, Perhaps they will be headlining their own tour soon. Bring it on I say!
The full setlist was:
‘Join The Professionals’, ‘Good Man Down’, ‘123’, ‘Going, Going Gone’, ‘Silly Thing’ (Sex Pistols Cover), ‘Rewind’, ‘Bad Baby’, ‘Hats Off’, ‘Kick Down The Doors’ and ‘Let Go’.
For more information about The Professionals, click HERE.
Next up Ruts DC. We all eagerly awaited their arrival onto the stage. Tonight was to be their second performance of the ‘40 Years Of The Crack Tour’.
All of a sudden, the alarm and the Police sirens went and we all knew what that meant. ‘Babylon’s Burning’, that was it, the crowd surged forward and a lots of movement began at the front. I was to the left of the stage and immediately made my way into the front. It was at this point the nostalgia really hit me and the recollection of 1979 and 1980 filling me with anticipation. Others around me were visibly feeling it too.
Next up ‘Dope For Guns’ with the familiar guitar opening and the first feel of “Wow I am going to hear this album beginning to end”. I never thought it would ever happen. Next up ‘S.U.S’, which was the first track with that amazing Ruts punk reggae guitar sound and one of my personal favourites from this album. Could this get any better?
Oh yes it could! ‘Something That I Said’ next leading into ‘You’re Just A’. The crowd were loving it and I could see them all singing the words. I was anticipating ‘It Was Cold’, which is in my top 5 songs of all time. I got all the goosebumps and an overwhelming feeling of euphoria as soon as ‘Segs’ Jennings started the intro. The delivery was superb and we were all loving this.
Side one complete, now for side 2, kicking off with ‘Savage Circle’ galvanising the mosh up the front into a frenzy. Another one of the Ruts most recognised songs ‘Jah War’ next. This was brilliant and had a real dub feel to it. To finish off the first half of the gig the ‘Crack’ album was completed with what I would describe as brilliantly performed songs, ‘Criminal Mind’, ‘Back Biter’, ‘Out Of Order’ leading into ‘Human Punk’. Ruts DC delivered the whole of this album to us superbly and I have to say I don’t think I will attend a better gig this year. This said there was more to come.
This section of the set was a real mix of new and old kicked off with ‘Music Must Destroy’, taken from the album of the same name. Then another one of my top tracks ‘West One’ and it turned out to be one of everyone else’s too. ‘Kill The Pain’, which led into ‘In A Rut’. The crowd literally surged forward and a big mosh started with people darting in from the sides, this was followed by ‘Psychic Attack’ and the first performance of ‘H-Eyes’, that I have seen for many years. Then for me one of the most emotional moments of the night as Segs introduced ‘Love In Vain’, There were people in the crowd around me that shed a few tears during the set and this track brought a few more. The last up tonight was ‘Staring At The Rude Boys’.
I feel really honoured and privileged to have reviewed this gig for one of my favourite ever bands. I will be getting tickets to do it all over again. If you want to find one after reading this please visit HERE.
The bands line up is John ‘Segs’ Jennings (bass), David Ruffy (drums), and Leigh Heggarty (guitar). ‘Segs’ and Ruffy being the original members after the sad passing of guitarist Paul Fox and lead singer Malcolm Owen, RIP.
The full setlist was:
‘Babylon’s Burning’, ‘Dope For Guns’, ‘S.U.S’, ‘Something That I Said’, ‘You’re Just A’, ‘It Was Cold’, ‘Savage Circle’, ‘Jah War’, ‘Criminal Mind’, ‘Back Biter’, ‘Out Of Order’, ‘Human Punk’, ‘Music Must Destroy’, ‘West One’, ‘Kill The Pain’, ‘In A Rut’, ‘Psychic Attack’, ‘H-Eyes’, ‘Love In Vain’ and ’Staring At The Rude Boys’.
For more information about Ruts DC, click HERE.