They do say live music is like buses…don’t they…well I’ve waited months to see it and this week two have come along at once. Last weekend, it was Scarborough for The Feens and Tom Lumley and this week it was another This Feeling championed artist, Red Rum Club as they showcased sophomore record The Hollow of Humdrum at Blueberry Hill Studios in Leeds.
The day started off with a signing at the Vinyl Whistle, Premier League referee Jon Moss’ record store. With space limited, rather than performing the scheduled indoor acoustic gig, the four Red Rum Club members in attendance, took to the Headingley streets and played a selection of new tracks, including The Elevation and Ballerino as well as Would You Rather Be Lonely? in front of confused drivers and pedestrians alike, along with some onlooking fans.
It was a great example of innovation and true showmanship, with Fran commanding the Leeds crowd and despite lorries, buses and tractors trying to disrupt the fun, the Liverpool band weren’t phased at all. I tweeted after, if we can’t have our venues, why not take live music to the streets and RRC proved, they are more than capable of playing their infectious music, in any situation.
Onto the main show, and the crowd was, distanced, but packed into the impressive Blueberry Hill Studios. Just outside the city centre, the venue is a hub for local artists yet somehow I’d never made it out there. With a good stage set-up, local beers from the likes of Anthology and Northern Monk and comfy side-stage seats, we were set for an hour of tunes taken from the new record.
The RRC lads played the album as it should be listened to, from top to bottom and as soon as the opening trumpet tones of The Elevation started, the room was instantly lifted. Whilst singing and dancing was discouraged (by law), it was next to impossible for the Leeds crowd to abide by. The songs on the Hollow of Humdrum are somehow more addictive and infectious than those on Matador and through the three opening tracks, including Kids Addicted and Vivo, Red Rum Club have crafted an album opening to rival some of the best every writted.
From soaring choruses in Ballerino and Eleanor, to the haunting Favourite Record, The Hollow of Humdrum was a spectacle live, even if two members were missing and the set was stripped back. Whilst only half an hour long, the ten tracks the lads have put together on the album complement each other, cascade lyrics and show off the personality of this incredible six-piece beautifully. I struggle to fault the record, and am struggling to fault the performance, especially considering it was the first time most of them had been played to a live audience.
Fran told the story of each track, with Dorado taking the crowd to Magaluf and golden beaches, and Ballerino bringing smiles to all as we discovered it was about a young boy who refused social stereotypes. I think this record really is a marvel and already an instant classic. Not as raucous or punchy as Matador, but more refined, honest and exactly what Red Rum Club ooze, musical class.
They do it with a swagger but with an understated thirst for acceptance. It feels genuine when they say they didn’t know if people would like The Hollow of Humdrum, it seemed genuine the smiles on all four members’ faces seeing the crowd reaction to these songs for the first time and what is genuine, is their love for each other and the harmony they have when performing live on stage – there’s clearly no place these guys would rather be and it shows.
It’s great to have live music back, even if it’s under these circumstances and long may it, and Red Rum Club continue.