For those of you who missed part one, we began a tour diary written by Ruts DC last week. You can the first piece over here.
And so the bus rolls on and the festivities begin in earnest!
Over to your war correspondent Segs Jennings for the latest missive from the punk rock frontline skirmishes…
Segs here. Sorry about the delay on this one! The touring life is a strange one in that there’s so much time, but one always seems to run out of it!
Day 2’s report is really about Thursdays gig in Bristol. The first one is always slightly nerve wracking. Personally, I’m always relieved when we reach the second song, usually at least a couple of people cheer or shout encouragement (or not) at the end of our opener which tonight was “Mighty Soldier” from the new album “Rhythm Collision Vol. 2”.
I’ll hand over to Ruffy…
Ruffy here. We are in Portsmouth tonight. Last night in Bristol was good, we got a great sound (thanks Nick Minton) and the local crew were really helpful. The audience liked us, but we were a surprise to most as unfortunately we weren’t on the local advertising as neither O2 nor the promoter had put us on there! I don’t get it. If people know we are playing they will get more through the door and sell more drinks, etc.
We have The Damned’s crew on our bus and someone nicked my bunk. I’m a big fella and finds it quite hard on bus life!
So, moaning over – it’s a fine day in Pompey! Found a great vintage clothes shop today called “One Legged Jockey” in Marmion St in Southsea, some great stuff in there.
On to the gig. The Damned soundcheck was extended and attended by Mr Vanian, (looking splendid as always) so ours was cut short. No matter though as we don’t need long. Our show went real well, a slow build with a very appreciative crowd. Some old friends came by and seemed to be impressed. The piece piece band is good; it seems a little more edgy.
Shouts for an encore, but no time left.
The Damned were really good last night, and the sparkle returned with great chemistry between Dave, Captain and Pinch.
Highlights for me were a fabulous version of “I Just Can’t be Happy Today” and “Neat Neat Neat”.
Happy vibes backstage for all afterwards. Segs had a long chat with Me and Vanian, and Segs and I had a natter with the Captain about various conspiracies. 3am bunk and drive to Leamington Spa.
Dave Ruffy writes:
Woke up, make tea, then Segs and I go in search of breakfast and ablution opportunities. Find both in Weatherspoons. Get a great breakfast and a decent coffee for £4.65!
Leamington Spa is a nice town. The venue, “The Assembly Rooms,” is charming. Kind of Neo-classical with a balcony. The backstage area is modern with an array of interesting things, including a life-size Dalek, an enormous Smurf and Tammy Wynette’s trailer – a dream palace in pink and white with plastic covered cream sofas, an entire wall of cut glass mirrors and a chromed wood burning stove!
The Damned soundcheck runs late (the Captain is trying out a new amp). We still have an hour before doors open and we are good at this, and normally real quick. Quick that is if the P.A. people work fast too.
It works like this: they get a list of our stage set up, microphone requirements etc, so there are no surprises. Our gear is really straightforward – four vocal mikes, one bass amp, one guitar amp and one drum kit. Unfortunately, the guy miking up the gear seemed like he couldn’t be bothered as we were, after all, “some poxy support band”. He could have been on quaaludes or worse. After 45 minutes he appeared to have finished, so I jumped on the kit to soundcheck, but a lot of the mike patching was wrong and some were not even plugged in. So after a few more minutes we continued, but alas he had not wired up the drum monitor. So we got about 5 minutes to soundcheck.
I hate it when people don’t do their jobs properly. It makes it crap for the bands and the audience alike. They, after all, buy tickets and pay his wages. Anyway, nonetheless we tore it up (we love what we do and it takes more than a dullard to put us off our stroke!) The gig went really well!
Afterwards, I met one of the stage crew who really liked the show. He’s a big dub reggae fan and is married to Coxsone Dodd’s granddaughter!
The Damned did a good show and I had a great chat with Captain about
Portugal, Portuguese food and valve vs digital amps till about 2am, then off to my bunk. No Sleep till Buckley!
Yeah, Leamington Spa is cool … hooked up with some friends (always good) and visited a nice pub … trying desperately not to peak too soon on local ale … did quite well. As Ruffy said the soundcheck was kinda tricky, but as we were on early (7.40) we channeled the anger into a great show, sailing through the set with songs about child soldiers, riots, war, wrongful arrest, dancefloor violence and heroin addiction :-) Once again I really enjoyed it … voice holding up and band and vocalists sounding great … Captain Sensible at the side of the stage shouting “Turn down Grandad!” only helped us to turn up the juice and finishing on In A Rut raised the roof !!
Onwards … we’re in Buckley North Wales now. Soundcheck looms.
The set has been:
- Mighty Soldier
- Back Biter
- It was Cold
- Smiling Culture/SUS
- One Step
- No Time To Kill
- Rude Boys
- West One
- Babylons Burning
- In A Rut
Last night though decided on a whim to play “Love In Vain” instead of “No Time To Kill”. It was wicked … dedicated to Malcolm and Paul (it always is even if I don’t say it). We only have a 50 min slot, but hell, it rocks!!! More tricks up our sleeves too! Stay tuned…
Details of this must-see tour and of Ruts DC’s monstrously good “Rhythm Collision Volume 2” album can be found at Ruts DC’s Website here: theruts.co.uk.
Find part one of Ruts DC tour diary here.