As Red Rum Club sell out the O2, I wander through movies, Mexican hats, and Men In Black.
As I headed to join the masses for a sold-out Red Rum Club gig I contemplated what has been a quick rise to the top of Merseyside’s crop of new talent for the lads from Crosby.
Having barely been at this for two years, Red Rum Club have managed to squeeze in a lot. From touring the UK, selling out venues across the city, releasing a debut album, playing on a rooftop, packing out stages at The Isle of Wight, Y-Not, Sound City and signing with Modern Sky, they’ve not sat on their laurels.
They’ve come a long way to get here and have a bit of a jaunt to go, from sell-out shows at the Zanzibar, the O2, they’re kicking off a 12 date UK tour. Tonight, they’ve brought three very different acts to get us started.
If you’ve ever read Getintothis you’ll have probably picked up that we’re a little bit enamoured by Tracky. His music is infectious, all 80s pop, trippy hooks, poetry, and sheer bravado. Throw in the fact that he has his name in lights and some pretty creative visuals and it’s hard not to like him, the little scamp.
He bursts onto the stage at exactly 7.40pm, full of energy and pre-prepared beats, it’s just a huge shame there were only about 40 of the full house bothered to turn up at this hour.
Still, his voice seems like he’s a little more in control of it and he sings for everyone’s supper. He needs a bigger audience, a later start might have helped and by the time the second band was on we could have made a suggestion or two in that regard.
The first couple of bars before the lead singer from Colombia came on stage had us fairly convinced they were about to launch into a cover of Supersonic by Oasis. It wasn’t, but it was close. Their second track, and we’ll be honest, we missed its name, didn’t really change the format. Quite the departure from Tracky, too much attention spent on a morning glory, some might say.
While there seemed to be a bit of a crowd for them, we noticed that their joke about the ‘boys changing their tampons‘ went down like a lead balloon, ill-timed, inappropriate and unfunny. It’s safe to say the Oasis tributes continued unabated. We didn’t hang around to find out.
Now, you might get this far and think we’re cheeky fuckers, but we’ve had the Oasis debate and don’t need to cover that again. We’re glad their punters seemed to enjoy it, there is probably a monumental audience out there for them but as your Mother might say, “if you can’t say anything nice…”
Life At The Arcade exploded from the darkness, all swagger and monikered bass drums. Imagine, if you will, if Muse met The Arctic Monkeys and got drunk in a hotel in, say, Scunthorpe. Life At The Arcade is their bastard child, now in its teens and sneaking out to drink cider with its mates down the local shopping center. Overrun with emotion, hormones, and seemingly, many a broken heart.
That’s not to say they weren’t any good, they were. They’ve clearly spent a lot of time and money pulling it all together, there is a ton of energy on stage, enough originality, and the guts to pull it off. They finished their set with a couple of new tracks, Little Lies being a favourite of ours and it looked like there was a little more focus coming through in the new tracks, more of this we say. More of this.
(And fewer love songs, we’ve enough of those)
Before Red Rum Club took to the stage the heat in the room kicked in, nearly killing us. It was incredible and running down the walls in a sweaty, nasty sheen. We’ve had three support acts where the only thing they had in common was that they all played in the same room on the same night, and with one final roll of the PA CD player we are treated to Oasis Champagne Supernova.
It’s almost like someone, somewhere was taking the piss.
If you’ve watched The Shining, you’ll know that things in the Overlook Hotel start to disintegrate pretty quickly, it has to be said. Once Wendy Torrance finds reams and reams of paper with the same line, repeated over and over and over the outlook turns decidedly menacing.
All work and no play, make a Jack a dull boy.
Red Rum Club clearly didn’t get the memo. Men In Black by Will Smith kicks in as they walk on. With an intro that happy, what happens tonight is anyone’s guess. The band launch into a trumpet heavy Friend of a friend, the lighting tech gets a run for his money and the mood changes almost instantly. After rattling through Casanova, Hung Up and Calexico it looks like the band needs a break along with everyone else, cue a perfectly timed trumpet solo.
You don’t get many trumpet solos these days, Jesus, we rarely see beers on stage never mind TVs getting chucked out of hotel windows. These lads are proper Rock and Roll, it’s Tarantino – esq, part LA, part Mexico, part rebellion, there was even the slightest hint of politics. Ironic that their next track was TV Said So, a song about sucking up everything that comes through the tube. Or the flatscreen, at any rate.
They raced through a set that included Brando, Remedy, Matador and crowd favourite Honey, after a fairly short break to give the lighting guy a second to crack his knuckles, they come back on and turn the Tarantino up to 11 by starting Angeline with a snippet from Misirlou by Dick Dale & His Del-Tones, the opening track from Pulp Fiction and ending their set on a high with Lonely.
All said and done, they didn’t stop for a breath for over an hour. As they depart the stage in a hail of sweat, glory, phone screens and screaming we’re left pondering a night of extremes. Tracky did the business, Columbia might have bored us, Life At The Arcade were good but a bit too indie for us and Red Rum Club put on a hell of a show but might need a bit more reflection.
We enjoyed their set, the crowd clearly lapped it up, there was a wonderful lack of people watching it through their phones until the bitter end and there was a lot of dancing. And we all need that, frankly.
We just wonder for how long they can get away with the Tarantino routine, does it get a little cliched four or five gigs in? There is clearly a lot of room to grow and move about and we enjoyed it as much as they did.
We’re just perplexed as to why a door and axe weren’t part of the routine.
Where was Jonny??