Tuesday, August 12, 2008

- First Ruts Session, January 1979

As far as I know (Ken's book is tantalisingly close to being available in my uni library) The Ruts did 4 sessions, this offering being the first (and best?), featuring the classic lineup of Malcolm Owen (vocals), Paul Fox (guitar), John "Segs" Jennings (bass) and Dave Ruffy (drums) and produced by Tony Wilson. In their early days they were active in anti-racist causes, and their song 'Jah War' is about the Special Patrol Group's violence in Southall in 1979, in which Blair Peach was beaten to death and Clarence Baker was severely injured.

The band came together in '77 and are considered among the best of the second wave of British punk bands, inspired by the likes of the Pistols and the Clash. Not untypically, they were enthusiastically supported by a certain John Peel. For my part, I was too young to appreciate them fully at the time, being more preoccupied with episodes of 'Monkey' and 'the Water Margin', although 'Babylon's Burning' remains a personal favourite of mine. They were also admired by a wide array of rock legends, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page all being ardent admirers.

Malcolm Owen died from a heroin overdose in July, 1980 at the young age of 26. The band continued in a number of guises for a while, but not with the same success. Almost three decades later, in July, 2007, the band reformed for the first time in 27 years and played a special one off benefit gig for Paul Fox, following his diagnosis with cancer. Hardcore U.S. punk singer and long time Ruts fan, Henry Rollins (of Black Flag), stood in for Malcolm Owen. They were supported by Tom Robinson, The Damned, Misty in Roots, UK Subs among others. If anyone has a copy, please let me know!

Track Listing:

-Savage Circle
-Babylon's Burning
-Dope For Guns
-Black Man's Pinch
-Criminal Mind


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1 comment:

DuffPaddy said...

Thanks mate! But that divshare thing's a mare, innit? I've just hit it myself too, as you know.

Re that Ruts/Rollins gig: a DVD is available from the band's myspace page, with proceeds going to the Paul Fox cancer trust.

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