Ruberlaris are a band that a lot of people may not have heard of but that is, hopefully, going to change very soon.
Their brand of indie-ska/ska-punk is amazingly catchy with a lively sense of rhythm and great hooks while the lyrics are intelligent and informed. The band has a massive following back in their native Chesterfield and second-home Sheffield and this recently led to 700 fans showing up for the recording of the video for their last single ‘Fun and Games’.
With a new monthly residency at the Dublin Castle in Camden Town and a brand new EP , ‘Tough Love’, out on December 18th, this was the perfect opportunity to sit down with the band and get to know them a little more. What came out when meeting the band - comprised of Chris on vocals and rhythm guitar, Adam on lead guitar, Mickey on bass guitar, Andy on saxophone and John on drums – is that they take great pride in being genuinely down to earth guys, and have a lot of love for their fans, many of whom follow them around the country, but more on that later.
The band see themselves coming in on the end of the run that was spearheaded by bands like the Arctic Monkeys and Reverend and the Makers, which led to a scene full of bands trying to sound just like them. Ruberlaris, however, had different plans, and over time a very natural sound with ska influences (a term that will forever be associated with an indie-band that features a saxophone) developed, sounding nothing like their neighbours ten miles to the west in Sheffield. The sound that they have developed is perhaps a little odd considering their wide range of influences. Chris as a songwriter is influenced by Bob Marley and The Doors, Andy is influenced by the Indie scene and Mickey said that he’s influenced “by the 70s metal scene, bands like Black Sabbath, the way that the drums and bass all work together in unison”. However, the one thing that they all have in common, and that pervades the music and their live shows, is that they just want to have a good time, and this is at the heart of their music to date.
They take great pride in their working class background and that has also undoubtedly influenced their songs and recordings to date. Taking five tracks into the studio, this session was the first time that the band had worked with a professional producer and there is nobody better to start with than the legendary Andy Smythe, who has worked with acts such as the aforementioned Arctic Monkeys, Reverend and the Makers and Pulp. Smythe gave the band a direction that may have been lacking before and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. If he thought something needed changing, or needed to be stripped down, he said so. And that, the band feel, has produced some great results.
One of the new songs, ‘JSA’, is about being on the dole, with both Chris and Adam unemployed and signing on. What makes the band so accessible to so many is that their experiences in life echo those of so many others, especially in the North where the recession has brought about more even more hardship than existed previously. And yet it is these experiences and their down to earth nature that makes the band so appealing to their fans. Speaking with some of their fans before the first show of their residency it is clear quite how much the band means to them. They work for absolute minimum wage in tough conditions, and yet see the band as a way to escape that. As one rather excited fan said, “there is no hope but the music”.
So that is Ruberlaris. Leading a new musical movement from the working class North with their very loyal fans in tow. When asked why people should check the band out when they hit a venue near them, their response was simple and succinct. “It’s fun, and yet you don’t have to dance, you can stand and listen to the lyrics and get a deeper feel for it too. Ultimately, it’s all about the music!” There’s no greater reason to see a band than that. Ruber Laris, a fun band of the people!
5th November 2010 Bad Format, Liverpool
6th November 2010 Dickens Bar, Rotherham
13th November 2010 The Ducie Bridge (Manchester Radio Online), Manchester
20th November 2010 Jacksons Pit, Oldham
25th November 2010 Mojo, Liverpool
27th November 2010 Dublin Castle (Monthly Residency), London
4th December 2010 The Mill w/Neville Staple (The Specials), Nottingham
18th December 2010 The Plug (New EP Release Show), Sheffield