Live Review: Red Rum Club – Liverpool

Red Rum Club

o2 Academy Liverpool, 28th September 2019

Words & Photos: Elena Katrina 

I have lost count the number of times I have seen Red Rum Club play – this year alone it’s been more times than I can count on one hand and over the last few years? Not a clue…. is “shit loads” a number? This was their biggest show of the year and had sold out months and months in advance. With that in mind, I also popped along to see them play to a much smaller crowd the night before too because the shows of this band are about to start getting bigger and bigger I want to see them play the smaller ones as often as I can!

Main support for this big ol homecoming show was local band and popped faves The Mysterines. This is another band I’ve seen a handful of times this year and who were just as exciting as every time I’ve ever seen them. Their live set suits both a small dirty venue as much as it does this big open blank space. With real grit and oompf the three-piece know exactly how to grab you by the shoulders and shake you – musically speaking that is. There’s no denying that over time their live set has ramped up somewhat but that vocal always gives me a tingle up my spine. My only problem was they didn’t play my favourite song ….. when do we get a Mysterines headline show at the o2 then?  –  soon I hope – well, as soon as they have enough songs and are ready because all the ingredients are there.

There was a big white sheet covering the stage while we waited with bated breath for Red Rum Club to appear. As the band eventually came to stage there were flashes of light and outlines of mic stands and the band and then BOOM – the sheet fell down and the crowd was covered in confetti. Admittedly, I only knew this AFTER it happened as I was in the photo pit and didn’t know the gloriousness that was happening behind my very head, as I fought red light and smoke to try to get a photo – any photo – of one of our favourite bands.

This was an emotional show, for me, for the crowd, for the band. You could see nothing but joy on everyone’s faces. It was easily one of the most important shows I felt I’d been a part of all year. This was a celebration, a thank you and an example of what else is to come. As the band rattled through track after track from their debut album Matador, the atmosphere grew. So did the number of people a-top shoulders, beer flying and cheers.

Some times when I’ve been to see Red Rum Club I’ve felt a little like I’ve maybe interrupted a private party – their family and close friends are staunch supporters – rightly so, but sometimes this can alienate others. Because this show was so big there was no vibe of this. I could spot faces I’ve seen along the way but also hundreds of people who I’d never seen before and that was what was so exciting. I attended the show with someone who had never seen them before and watching the delight on their face watching them was a reflection of how happy this band makes people.

You can’t be sad watching Red Rum Club. It’s a fact. There’s an uplifting feel to their music and live the party feels even more alive than it does on record. The band move around on stage, lead singer Fran punches the air and leaps from leg to leg like a monkey on steroids. Other band members spot people they know in the crowd and energetically nod in their direction – big smiles across their face. The thing is, this isn’t just something that’s happening in Liverpool – nope. I’ve been watching this band play up and down the country, both in-person and via video upon video of bouncing crowds climbing the walls trying to clamber ever closer to this band who are truly on the rise.

We’re treated to a brand new track, that up until this Liverpool show, had only ever been played live twice before. You wouldn’t have known though, given how easily it fit into the set and how it feels remarkably familiar, because that’s what Red Rum Club are so smart at; creating a collection of tracks that work together and have a flavour that is oh so them. Some might call it hot sauce! Ok… I might call it hot sauce haha.

Recent single Kids Addicted was also given an outing – of course – and I’ll admit I was surprised that as it had only been out a week, I wasn’t expecting a crowd sing-along – not this big a crowd anyway. Yet there it was – the guys in the crowd with their blow-up trumpets were waving as furiously for this as they were at the end.

The end – oh how soon it came around and we all knew what it was going to be. We all knew there was only one song left to play. In fact prior to the encore, the crowd started to sing it for them….. Would You Rather Be Lonely.… oh what a tune and when it came the sweat was pouring down the walls and the atmosphere was electric. As the counting of people on shoulders began it was impossible to keep up and the singing – the glorious sing-along. At some point during this last song I felt so blissfully happy and proud that I thought I was going to cry. Can we do it all again this time next month?

 

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