Ruts DC guitarist Leigh Heggarty chats to Louder Than War.

Wilko Johnson has confirmed that he and his band will play two London dates at Camden’s Koko on the 13th and 14th October. According to Wilko’s website, the great man and his incomparable band mates Norman Watt-Roy and Dylan Howe will take the stage at 9pm each night and there will be two support acts for each gig.

Wilko’s terminal illness has been oft-reported but the fact remains that each gig the man’s played played since his diagnosis has taken on a special significance. Each show has been charged with emotion; elation and admiration tempering the sorrow inevitable in such circumstances. These two gigs will be no exception.

News has reached Louder Than War that on the second night, Ruts DC will be on the bill. It’s a fair assertion that Ruts DC are an apt choice of support given that their own gigs since their reformation have had an emotional piquancy of their own; the memory of deceased members Paul Fox and Malcolm Owen lingering in the music they helped forge. They are a band who have, after many years absence, found life after death. Let’s not get too maudlin though. The main reason Ruts DC are a great choice of support is because they are a great band who will help make what promises to be a great bill. I caught up with Ruts DC guitarist Leigh Heggarty, fresh from the band’s recent run of valedictory gigs in Germany and Scotland, as he outlined what it means both to the band and to him personally, as a big fan of Wilko’s of many years’ standing, to play this gig…

“As a band we are all really pleased to be on the bill. On a personal level Wilko is the only guitarist that I have seen play more times than I saw Paul Fox play. And now I’ll be playing Paul’s riffs at Wilko’s gig. If you’d have told me two years ago I’d be doing that…”

Leigh’s sentiment is clear and he doesn’t need to finish the sentence, not least because the elephant in the room neither of us wishes to mention is that each gig Wilko plays may well be his last.

Ruts DC gigs over the last couple of years have been pretty darn special events in themselves (see the review of their barnstorming Rebellion 2012 appearance here) and you sense a catharsis as the band have stepped from the shadow of the past in order to create something new (Rhythm Collision Vol 2 was finally released this year and you can read our review of it here) . To couple this with the heroic vibe of Wilko’s recent gigs is nothing short of inspirational and it promises to be a very special night indeed.

Also featuring over the two nights will be Eight Rounds Rapid, featuring Wilko’s son Simon on guitar, and the 45s from Carlisle. Both young bands, they signpost Wilko’s legacy of new blood playing Feelgoods’ booze-fuelled style R n B, taking it forward and adding their own twist. These, along with the inclusion of the reinvigorated Ruts DC, make for two unmissable nights.

The full show lineups:

Sunday 13th October:

  • Wilko Johnson
  • Eight Rounds Rapid
  • The 45s

Monday 14th October:

  • Wilko Johnson
  • Ruts DC
  • Eight Rounds Rapid

Tickets are going fast but if you get your skates on you might find one or two at www.ticketweb.co.uk!

All words by Phil Thompson. More writing by Phil on Louder Than War can be found here. You can follow Phil on Twitter and check out his band Bug at their website.

 

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