Album Review: Red Rum Club – Matador

Red Rum Club – Matador

Words and Photography: Gary Lambert

Red Rum Club

Since the moment a few years ago I walked into Black Lodge Brewery and heard Red Rum Club, I’ve been in adoration of the sound they create. The release of their debut album has been something that I have been waiting for excitedly with the excitement boosted by watching their growth as a unit at more gigs than I can count. Well all I can say is that I’ve listened to the album once for the purposes of starting up my review mind, but since I reached the final notes of the final, and title, track ‘Matador’, I’ve had the album on repeat as I type away.

This is not a case of listening to your mates’ album to show them a bit of support I hasten to add. If it was that, I’d listen to it and not try to get as many people as possible to invest their time and money in this beautiful 31 minutes of mariachi rock n roll.

The key to the success of this album is that Red Rum Club have been able to hone and encapsulate their own particular sound mixing traditional scouse indie with spaghetti western style without making the ten tracks sound repetitive which is no easy feat given how much the influence of trumpeter “Joe The Blow” has on their musical landscape. It’s the love child of James Skelly and Ennio Morricone, of Friday nights out followed by Saturday afternoon films, and, most of all, the unity of a gang of friends. The album has heat permeating from it from start to finish – and it warms you from the heart outwards.

I’m a big fan of albums as entire works of art to be listened to in the correct order, and this is another factor which ‘Matador’ has in its favour. There are no songs which are not of the same DNA as the others. Every track is between two and a half and three and a half minutes long which makes the album push along at machine gun speed, and there are no glimpses of the future tracks which have a gospel choir or mini-orchestra taking up the surplus from the budget. Not that there is anything wrong with bands getting expansive, it just says to me that Red Rum Club are focused on the here and now.

The sky’s the limit…

To celebrate the launch of the album, Red Rum Club held a special gig at Jacaranda Phase One. In keeping with the focus of Matador, the night consisted of Red Rum Club playing their album in order in a tight, politely aggressive fashion in front of an audience of family, friends, and fans. It was not an end of an era night, but it definitely felt like the start of next chapter. Who knows what the future will hold for Red Rum Club, but right now it feels like they’re itching to pull the trigger on something special.

And for the record, I was with a date when I first saw Red Rum Club and I had to leave her to get the drinks in so that I could call up the editor at Popped Music to tell her that I’d just seen a band who were “fucking brilliant”. Unsurprisingly given that making a music proclamation was more important than turning on the charm, I’ve seen Red Rum Club many more times than I’ve seen that young lady. But I’ve got a copy of the album in my bag for her just in case I bump into her. It’ll be well better than some garage flowers.

Listen to Matador below:

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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