Ruts DC played the last date of their ‘Faces In The Sky’ UK tour to promote the release of their brand new protest studio album, ‘Counterculture?’, performing several of the new songs live amongst their classic material. The band are formed of founding members Segs Jennings (vocals, bass) and Dave Ruffy (drums) with long-time guitarist Leigh Heggarty.

Entering to a cover of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ by Capitol 1212 ft. Earl 16, they opened on ‘Faces In The Sky’ from the new album; a dytopian, political rock-rap with twinkling guitar contrasted by an underbelly of darker chords, this echoed in the present from the tracks that followed off debut album ‘The Crack’ – ‘S.U.S’ and ‘It Was Cold’.

The band played more new material in the way of ‘X-Ray Joy’; a hybridised post-punk x punk song with Chameleons-like guitar twinges and abrasive riffs. After punk prayer, ‘West One (Shine On Me)’, they returned again to the new release with their title track single ‘Counterculture’ as well as ‘Born Innocent’; the latter’s loud bass dub and Heggarty’s circular, dizzying guitar and pedal effects made this the best live performance of the night and it seems criminal that it was not released as a single.

Their 1979 single and reggae dance track ‘Jah War’ could have benefitted from even more dub; the band then revisited their last studio album with title single, ‘Music Must Destroy’, introduced by Segs’ vocal sample of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’. They played their debut single ‘In A Rut’, with Heggarty’s zipping guitar solo, also doing a touching interlude of a tribute mashup to recently passed musicians Nik Turner (Hawkwind) with ‘Silver Machine’, Keith Levene (PiL) with ‘Public Image’ and Wilko Johnson (Dr. Feelgood) with ‘Roxette’, before finishing the rest of the song. They ended the main set on their hit single ‘Babylon’s Burning’.

Ruts DC returned for an encore featuring another new song, ‘Pretty Lunatics’ and 1980 single, ‘Staring At The Rude Boys’. The set excelled from fantastic sound (with the exception of needing even more dub!), energy and the perfect complementary mix of old and new material – onwards and upwards for this lot.

03/12/22: Ruts DC @ O2 Academy Islington, London.

Photos © Division PR.

© Ayisha Khan.