It’s difficult to understate the vitality that those Liverpool trumpet muffins Red Rum Club gave to the room on a dank March evening. I don’t think there was a soul in the place missing a loping easy grin by the end of the band’s tight and punchy performance.
Earlier, lead singer Francis Doran had explained the band’s nerves at playing the Brudenall while organising the tour. There were the scarring memories of playing a couple of years ago to about 20 people there as support to The Farm and to add to the pressures, it was the biggest venue on the tour this time around. The Red Rum guys needn’t have worried; of course Leeds was up to the challenge; this was a sell out and there was no problems with getting the punters grooving at the front of the stage.
Live I was worried that Red Rum Club might just sound a little cabaret with the brass, but I should have known better as the 6 piece put on an assured harder rocky punch to the bossa nova Mexican swing that underpins the sound. The band’s name was inspired by Red Rum being Murder backwards to give something of a cinematic vibe to the image, and it’s true both live and on record you get that big surround sound hit to the music. To my ears there is something of a James Dean Bradfield Preachers feel about Fran Doran’s voice (with a bit of the drama of Marc Almond thrown in) and live both music and voice didn’t disappoint in the slightest.
Fran Doran is bearded, dark and imposing with his tall slender figure. With the songs containing sensitive insightful lyrics of love and loss, by the end of the evening even I was vaguely wondering whether medical science would ever enable me to have his babies.
The gig set list was largely an assured and triumphal run through of Red Rum Club’s recently released album Matador, a recording that took me totally by surprise; one tentative play through and I have been besotted by the album; this is destined to be my big play of 2019 and already it has to be on my list for Album of the Year; an absolutely massive and stunningly beautiful recording. It is worth highlighting that a 300 edition vinyl release of Matador is pending / hurry on over to the official website to pre order. I don’t always get it right, but I’m thinking this 12 inch piece of beauty will become a very coveted item down the road. I just don’t understand why this album hasn’t graced the UK charts. Regardless the band received a heroes welcome as they chatted with the audience after the gig, and I overheard more than one person absolutely buzzed to have met the guys in person.
Red Rum Club are spending April working on new material and hopefully we might just catch a hint of these new vibes as they are back out on the road in May (including York’s Fulford Arms on May 10th and Manchester’s Bread Shed on May 11th before performing at a goodly number of the summer festivals including the magnificent Tramlines where I have a date with the band. Red Rum Club are a comet band; on fire and hurtling past you this summer. Make sure you look out for them.