Ruts DC Lancashire Telegraph feature

Single landmark for punk icons

rutsON STAGE: Ruts DC are at Blackpool Opera House on August 6 as part of the 2016 Rebellion Festival

New track is a pile-driving three minutes and six seconds of unrelenting fury

THE Ruts’ glorious punk anthems, Staring at the Rude Boys and Babylon’s Burning, still sounds livid with indignation. And the sonic needle is revved back into the red with the Ruts DC new single, Psychic Attack, a pile driving three minutes and six seconds of unrelenting fury.

“It’s been a long time coming but the time has never been so right,” says Ruts DC bassist John ‘Segs’ Jennings.

“Psychic attack is about pressure, being persecuted by enemies, so called friends, the state or even yourself.

“Look at this government who have such a disregard for people, closing libraries and destroying public services based on the whim of an accountants spread sheet. “It sickens me and the song is a reflection of how we feel
at the moment.

“I’m 60 now but I’m just as angry about the injustices in the world as I did when I was a kid in The Ruts.
“It’s important to know that you are not alone in your struggle.
“Our message is still the same – people unite.”
The Ruts’ short career took off when John Peel championed their debut single In a Rut, blossomed in the summer of 1979 when Babylon’s Burning made the top ten, and it all but ended when their leader Malcolm Owen died in his bath of a heroin overdose months later.
“It was all over in the blink of an eye.
“We had 18 months on the dole, signed a record deal with Virgin and a year later Malcolm was dead,” added
Segs, who plays Blackpool’s Rebellion Punk Festival with Ruts DC in August.
“And I still feel the great pain of Malcolm’s death; it is still hard to deal with thirty odd years later.
“This might sound hard, but at the height of Malcolm’s addiction we sort of gave up on him and split the band up briefly to try and jolt him out of it.
“It worked for a while, but his death came as a terrible shock because we loved each other as a band and as people.
“We carried on through the grief but it was never the same.
“The whole thing was like a mad rock and roll book.
“Our singer had died young to a drugs overdose, we had no new songs and the music industry had chewed us up
and spat us out. I’d had enough.”
The remaining Ruts continued to perform for a while under the name Ruts DC. But the group collapsed and Jennings went on to have a successful behind-thescenes studio career, notably with the Chemical Brothers,
while drummer David Ruffy played for Aztec Camera and Dexy’s Midnight Runners. But when original guitarist
Paul Fox was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer several years ago, Jennings and Ruffy agreed to do a benefit
gig for him, and they have continued to play ever since.
“Every time we are on stage I look over and expect to see Malcolm and Paul, it is still so hard but I’d like to
think that they would be incredibly proud of the new record.
“They are not with us anymore but they are still so intertwined with The Ruts history.
“Many times I’ve thought this is just too difficult, to carry on without them, because I miss them both dearly.
“But we are still flying the flag for them and there’s a ballad about Malcolm and Paul on the new record.”
That album, Music Must Destroy and due to be released later this year, will be their first LP release since Animal Now in 1981.
“For a long time I didn’t want to re-form – it felt a bit cheap,” added Segs.
“It had to have integrity, but then I thought let’s do some of the songs we all love, the music that changed all our lives, and how poignant they were.
“I see it more of a continuation rather than a reformation and there’s some great tunes on Music Must Destroy.”

See Ruts DC at Blackpool Opera House on August 6 as part of the 2016 Rebellion Festival. Rebellion runs August 4-7. Box office 02476 601678.

Feature writer


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Tenor Fly GoodbyeVery sad to pass on the news that our very good friend Tenor Fly has died . We’re not absolutely sure what the circumstances were .
Last time we performed with him it was at Jamm in Brixton -he looked a little thin but ,of course,he told us not to worry Since then he’s been touring constantly with Congo Natty and many others.
Fly played a major part in Ruts DC’s re-birth as he was often at Jamm on a friday night where we’d chat and sing and hang out. I sang him the chorus to Mighty Soldier once and he just started to perform, with his unique and sonorous voice filling the room -like a righteous teacher .We asked him to put that rhyme on Rhythm Collision volume 2 and yes it became the song that some of you will know -Mighty Soldier . We were so proud to work with him .


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The Return of Dead Men Walking

Dead men Walking Tour

-the Return Of-
Dave Ruffy : Jake Burns : Kirk Brandon : Segs Jennings
Acoustic & Live – Songs & Stories
After almost a decade away from the UK clubs Dead Men Walking return in June 2016 for a 9 date re-introduction jaunt. Founding member Kirk Brandon (Spear of Destiny/Theatre of Hate) will be joined by much heralded rhythm section Segs and Ruffy from The Ruts on acoustic bass, percussion and vocals. Jake Burns, legendary front man of Stiff Little Fingers, will be ‘Flying The Flag’ for Northern Ireland. It is hoped another member of the original DMW touring line will be making a ‘Comeback’ for the shows, stay tuned!With a massive catalogue of songs to choose from this new DMW line up intend to deliver a raw stripped back interpretation of a whole host of classic tracks from their respective iconic albums and singles. A few surprise cover versions and even a brand new song or two are also threatening to make their way into the set. All in all the Sound Track of a Generation will be on show every night.

See Dead Men Walking Live in June 2016

  1. Friday 10th LEEDS Brudenell Social
  2. Saturday 11th BUCKLEY Tivoli
  3. Sunday 12th DARWEN Library Theatre
  4. Tuesday 14th BRIGHTON Komedia
  5. Wednesday 15th LONDON Dingwalls
  6. Thursday 16th MIDDLESBROUGH Westgarth Social
  7. Friday 17th BRISTOL The Fleece
  8. Saturday 18th WINCHESTER Discover Centre
  9. Sunday 19th LEICESTER The Musician.

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