Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Born Ruffians cause mass enjoyment in Oxford Street

13 October 2015, 11:37 | Written by Adam Burbidge

The 100 Club is known for its musical heritage; the floorboards creak in harmony and the old pipes pulsate in the groove.

Like so many of its successful London counterparts, there is no thin veil of glamour or ritzy arrogance here. In fact, with two simple bars at each side, stacks of chairs and nostalgic photos scattered on the scarlet-coloured walls, the 100 Club bears more resemblance to a clubhouse devoted to sporting endeavour than musical.

But musical endeavour is its devotion and the clubhouse was slowly becoming satisfied with devotees, here tonight to see Born Ruffians. With their latest record, RUFF, having been released just five days previously (2nd October), the boys and girls of the audience were ready to make very active, what is more commonly considered a passive pursuit. Cue: "Hummingbird".

The sound was outstanding, the room came alive with hands and heads bobbing and jerking, and, as if enlisted by Mitch DeRosier (bass) and Andy Lloyd (keyboard), the voices that came from these heads and hands backed up their back-up with full force. And this was the template for the evening, we were hanging on Luke Lalonde’s every utterance, bouncing around completely under the Born Ruffians spell, roaring the responses when required in material spanning all four albums.

When the gaps between songs came, there was chat from the band - Lalonde felt awkward under the lights, DeRosier stated that "it smells like Mick Jagger’s dick in here" and later added that everyone in Manchester could kick his ass, a statement I disagree with if he fights as actively as he plays bass. The physical embodiment of those irresistible animated bass lines, he was all over the place, obviously loving every minute of it. I was unable to hear anything more of their spoken word because of the relentless cheering but it clearly went down well.

Given that Lalonde was handsomely adorned in a scarlet-coloured shirt, my own personal fear was that he would become lost to the crowd having merged visually with the wall behind him. This fear was unnecessary, it turned out, because Lalonde exudes his own brand of shuddery, jittery charisma to such a degree, that it is impossible to take your eyes off him. Added to this appeal is the might of his voice and the weight behind it, best witnessed, I think, from my position at the side of the stage. The sheer effort that goes into his singing is made visible by the veins on his slightly arched neck, the closed eyes and the fully open mouth, absolutely going for it at the top of his voice. I always think it’s this kind of thing that allies a singer to a crowd, unquestionable investment in the success of the music and the show. That, and a sweet red shirt.

Having gone off (after a brilliant extended "Kurt Vonnegut") and come back on, Lalonde jokes that they’ll keep going until people leave – which would have been never – and just as someone shouts "Foxes Mate For Life!" we are issued those first delicate guitar notes. We finish the night as we started, having a bloody wonderful time of it.

Setlist:

Hummingbird
Ocean’s Deep
Badonkadonkey
Eat Shit We Did It
When Things Get Pointless I Roll Away
The Ballad of Moose Bruce
Little Garçon
Don’t Live Up
Nova-Leigh
I Need A Life
Needle
We Made It
Kurt Vonnegut
Foxes Mate For Life

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