The incredible stage presence and persona of Red Rum Club hits you hard, from the start. This is what struck me perhaps more than anything at last night’s Independent Venue Week Launch, hosted by the infamous EBGBs.
The basement venue was completely packed, and will surely be entirely too small for the hugely popular Liverpool sextet very soon. It is true that they are still relatively new, but it is undeniable that their powerful sound is by now well known and loved in Liverpool and across numerous other cities in the UK. They have held their own and delivered time and time again, and they just keep getting better. They bring something different and uniquely memorable to audiences, amidst the vast sound-scape of the underground music scene. Because of this, and certainly the enthusiasm with which it is delivered, the explosive potential here is immensely exciting.
During a casual little chat before their headline gig last night, Francis Doran, Tom Williams, Simon Hepworth, Michael McDermot, Neil Lawson and Joe ‘The Blow’ Corbyn, all seemed super relaxed and more than up for a laugh as they told me some of their hilarious stories from the road. Now, I won’t pretend to know these guys, but on stage, my chilled first impressions of the guys that make up Red Rum Club, exploded. Totally in their element on stage, they took on the crowd with the resolved demeanour of experienced rock and rollers, and the mood was infectious. Notably, Francis Doran, the band’s compelling front man is able to turn on a charisma that has nothing to do music, and fed the crowds eager clamouring with an energetic performance that overflowed with attitude. The rest of the band too were completely in control of both their sound and visual, and brought that highly craven Mersey-infused post-punk Americana, with a dark Latino twist, that Liverpool has come to love.
Reflecting on what in particular makes this band so exciting to watch and to listen to live—their tracks are great, but the stage is where they really come to life—it might be said that Red Rum Club have hit upon element of juxtaposition that is not only rare amongst their peers, but which inherently speaks to us as people, and in doing so, plays with our conscience. It might be called a musical balance between the sense of immortality that passion inspires, and a kind of sweet melancholia.
Their new single ‘Calexico’, about to be released on February 16th, was given a special performance last night, giving fans a chance to digest the catchy song. What might be taken from it is that this is more than just a lost love story set against Mexicana nostalgia. In many ways, this song progresses Red Rum Club’s love for dark lyrics and their stunning use of that haunting trumpet, and brings a clever political edge to the track.
This was a big night not only as it marked the beginning of IVW in Liverpool, but also for Red Rum Club as it begins their 2018 UK tour that will take them to London and the south coast, and all the way up to Glasgow. The rest of the night’s line up did not disappoint, with heavy, intoxicating guitar sounds from Brooklin and The Bohos, who also played successful sets earlier in the evening. Despite having the job of warming up the crowd, both these bands were very well received. The Cheap Thrills seemed to have their own fan base out to support them, but were noticeably much more popular with the younger set.
To keep up with the latest from Red Rum Club, including their new single ‘Calexico’, tour dates and everything else, find them on Youtube, Spotify, Instagram.