Gig Review: Ruby Boots | Northcote Social Club, Melbourne | 4.4.18

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Authentic Americana rock and roll is hard to come by in Australia — and it seems when it's played, it can be hit and miss. But Ruby Boots has avoided this phenomenon with grace, style and clarity — which was on display at Northcote Social Club on Friday night.

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Gena Rose Bruce opened the evening with her nineties alt/grunge approach to her music, but with a sprinkling dreamy indie-rock flair. Playing seven songs, it was clear why Ruby had asked Gena to open the performance for her — Gena and her band have a clear talent, taking inspiration from the grunge era and early alternative rock. Gena’s music is something you could get lost in, only to be pulled back again by the scintillating and fiery guitar solos. 

Her single 'The Way You Make Love' was a stand-out from her set. Strikingly written, the track was driven by the thumping bass guitar line and displayed a real sense of purpose.

She closed her set out with 'I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You', which was vocally heavy, but emphasised Gena’s talent as a vocalist.

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With dreamy rock vocals and a band that wanted to rock out on stage, Baby Blue presented nine songs that made the crowd get up and dance.

'New Girlfriend' set the standard for the rest of Baby Blue’s set. The track was full of pep with slightly more pace and a dirty rock vibe, mixed with small musical moments in the vocal and guitar lines. Baby Blue’s recent single 'I Like You' infuses psychedelic rock with blistering high pitched guitar riffs and rock n’ roll. 

Baby Blue concluded on 'Fire and Ice',  which combined dreamy vocals and the guitar. Listening to the song makes you feel like you're in a trance, and Baby Blue’s vocals whimsically floated over the captivating guitar lines and a bouncing rock beat from the drums and bass guitar. 

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Focussing on her newest release Don’t Talk About It, Ruby sang, danced and bantered her way through favourites, such as 'It’s So Cruel', 'Don’t Talk About It' (the title track off the new record), 'Easy Way Out' and 'Infatuation'. 

Opening with 'I’ll Make It Through', it was clear from the beginning that Ruby was here to have a good time. The guitar had that punchy strum, with a clear airy tone — which perfectly complemented the strumming acoustic and her earthy vocals. 

'I Am A Woman' had every single person in the room in silent appreciation for Ruby and the song. After the band left the stage, Ruby shared her words on what she thought it meant to be a woman. She noted that she originally wished to write an angrier song, but decided there was enough hate around the meaning of womankind and wrote this instead from a place of love. 

Doubling down on the rock n’ roll persona Ruby has so skillfully cultivated for herself and the band, she cracked out a cover of Tom Petty’s 'Keeping Me Alive'. The band tore up the stage with some electrifying guitar solos funky bass riffs and drumming, which helped paint the scene of the track. 

Ruby closed her set out with 'Believe In Heaven'. Gena Rose Bruce and Baby Blue returned to the stage to hop on backing vocals. Between her smokey vocals sounding somewhat like Stevie Nicks and the energy filled solos from her lead guitarist, the band brought out that classic American Rock n’ Roll sound so pivotal to music in the seventies and plugged it right back into the ears of those at Northcote Social Club. 


Written by Daniel Hanssen  (@dangigman)

You can catch Ruby Boots at her remaining show on Friday 11th May at Perth's Rosemount Hotel.  More information is available here

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