It’s said that ordinary perception of time can twist and lose meaning on tour. In keeping with this and lending an air of “going back story”, Dave Ruffy fills in some blanks with his experience in Edinburgh on the Damned / Ruts DC tour. For regular readers, these events take place before Segs’s diary in part 7. Keep up at the back!
Day 10. Edinburgh Picture House.
8 am, Saturday 7th December. I awake in Edinburgh parked in Castle Terrace; just round the corner from tonight’s gig at “The Picture House”. Both buses are “dead”, which is to say that they have no mains electricity connection. This is a regular and popular venue, yet is the only gig on the tour that doesn’t supply electricity to the buses. Normally the promoters or venue owners grease the palm of a local business or home owner and arrange for supply. It’s a drag because there is no heating or even light on the bus until we leave in the early hours of the next morning.
I dress by the light of my mobile torch, depart the bus and walk around to the gig in Lothian Road. It’s all locked up … but three doors down I find the “Red Squirrel”, a bar / diner which is serving breakfast. I text the troops and I’m soon joined by Steve (our bus driver), Sean (The Damned bus driver), Segs, Leigh and Nick. We all order breakfast and coffee except Sean and Steve who, as they have finished work for the day, order beer…
I go for a walkabout, first to Princes St HMV store. It’s huge and reassuringly busy. There are copies of MOJO placed all over the shop with “Ruts- a punk tragedy” (no pun intended) shown boldly on the cover but, disappointingly, no Rhythm Collision Vol. 2, although I find out later from my friend Oscar that it’s in the Reggae section! Happy days!
Go for a pint in Dirty Dicks then meet Segs for tapas and Rioja at La Tasca in Charlotte St. Get back for soundcheck.
The Picture House is a lovely old place. I recall playing there back in the day with Aztec Camera. Apparently, it has just been sold and the new owners, Weatherspoons, are to stop having live music there. People of Edinburgh – please petition to keep it open for music, there are not many decent mid-sized gigs in your town. I read that although Weatherspoons has no live music in their pubs they are open to discussion.
It’s a 7:40pm stage time for us and the old Facebook has come in very handy for letting folks know we are on early. I’m pleased to say people are generally in in time to catch our show … thank you.
Nip back to the Red Squirrel for a quick pre-show pint and meet a couple of faces from our recent Scottish trip, have a quick chat then back for the show.
It’s a belter. It’s packed, and the crowd are with us from the start and jumping! We love Scotland!
After the show I meet my pals Malcolm Ross and his Wife Sue. We nip off to … the red Squirrel and join my friends Sarah, Oscar and Bear.
Malcolm Ross is a gentleman, a musician and a bit of a legend. He was a member of Josef K, Orange Juice and later in Aztec Camera, where I had the pleasure of performing with him. He is a guitarist with his own style, a kind of Caledonian funk I call it and without him I don’t think there would be Franz Ferdinand … anyway, we manage to get a large table and we all chat and gossip and generally attempt to partially put the world to rights.
By now it’s 10:15 and I say my goodbyes and go back to the gig as I have to meet some more of our Scottish crew by the merch stall where I join Molara, Leigh, Segs and my old pal Duggie who is out for the first time in ages. A few photos, handshakes and signings and it’s time to pack up and board the bus to … Newcastle.
All words by members of Ruts DC. This feature was sourced by Philip Thompson. More writing by Phil on Louder Than War can be found here and you can follow Phil on Twitter and check out his band Bug at their website. – See more at: PART 6 or PART 7.