Friday 31 May 2013

Rubylux - O2 Academy, Islington 25th May 2013

Review by

On a very sunny evening in London on Saturday (25th May) I made my way to the O2 Academy in Islington to watch Rubylux open for Russian alt-rock/Britpop four-piece Mumiy Troll. Rubylux are four very humble, talented guys based in Brighton, consisting of Rob Humphreys (lead vocal and guitar), Clark Coslett-Hughes (bass guitar), Mike Hall (drums) and Adam Harris on keyboard. Performing to a close-knit crowd of both fluent, Russian-speaking gig-goers and clear fans who knew their lyrics, Rubylux treated a very well receiving crowd to six atmospheric pop/rock songs (whose set list was handed to me on a napkin by a lovely member of the band's backstage team) and general pleasant chit-chat that only served to show these guys were very happy to be there.

I didn't see Rubylux take to the stage but I walked in half way through their first song, 'I Don’t Want (Paradise)', a very catchy, feelgood, slightly soppy number that with Humprheys' smooth and silky vocals and lyrics such as “I don't want paradise, I just want you, I don't want anyone to do the things you do” could well work out as a saucy little R'n'B tune if not for for the rockier aspects of the drum arrangement and the bouncy bassline. Rock and roll track 'Order Me Double' followed, which ends on a short but sweet instrumental. Next up was 'The Black Sun Needs Sparks' which is a slower song with predominant drum beats, croony, wailing, vocals accompanying melancholy lyrics. That has quite an upbeat, quirky keyboard accompaniment thrown in towards the end of the song. This was a definite crowd-pleaser, despite the slower pace; this song is huge and people in the crowd were still doing the rock sign with their hands.

After a little break to throw picks into the crowd (or what I think was picks, I'm little and couldn't see properly!) they came at us with 'Inside', my favourite of the bunch, where Humprheys debuted his exquisite vocal range supported by emotional harmonies from the rest of the guys, with sleepy drumming from Hall were he genuinely plays like his kit is a part of him, rocket/space age keyboard sounds, Rubylux played through a smokey stage, and atmospheric gentle flashing lights to give an out of this world experience for everyone involved. This got a super-big cheer from the crowd too. The band then went straight into a cover of the Beatles classic 'Eleanor Rigby' which had a great electro feel and drum solo in particular which had the crowd dancing away.

Then, last but not least, the guys took a moment to gently remind the crowd of that that next song, 'The World Goes Quiet', was due for release at midnight. With shouts from the drummer: “Buy our single, we’ll love you forever!”, then more picks thrown into the crowd, “so you remember our name!”, Rubylux had half the room bopping their heads and the other half swaying and smiling into their pints. And quicker then we’d all have liked, the set was over, then Humphreys treated us all like his best mates in saying “We’ll be sticking around for a beer after, so come say hello.” And Hall whipped out his camera phone, asked for the lights to go up and shouted “Let me get a picture of you!” to a very excitable room of people all waving their arms about in the air! All in all, a very enjoyable evening, I’d recommend catching them in a town near you and it was an absolute pleasure to have been there. Cheers!

Rubylux's website

Catch them live:

04/06/13 London, Shepherd’s Bush Empire Supporting Rick Springfield
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: TBC. Age restrictions: All Ages.
08/06/13 Inverness, Rock Ness Festival,United Kingdom
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: £59. Age restrictions: All Ages.
28/07/13 Lake District, Kendall Calling, United Kingdom
Time: 8:30pm. Age restrictions: All Ages.
31/08/13 Cambridgeshire, Lodestar Festival, United Kingdom
Time: 8:30pm. Age restrictions: All Ages.
05/10/13 Braintree, Essex, High Barn,United Kingdom
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: 12.50. Age restrictions: All Ages.

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