Since May The Rubens have been on tour in support of their latest single ‘Never Ever’ from their upcoming album ‘LO LA RU’. This year alone they’ve managed to complete a short national tour, play overseas, now back on the road and I was lucky enough to catch them at Redland Bay as they concluded their QLD leg of shows.
The fresh winter afternoon began with Brisbane’s Shagrock that had been in support of The Rubens for their QLD shows. They played an excellent set full of upbeat originals and in great spirits; regardless that majority of their gear had unfortunately been stolen from their van the night before. CLOVES took the stage next displaying her amazing vocals through out her entire performance. Her angel like vocals were only supported by backing tracks, a guitar and a keyboard that left many others and myself in the audience stunned. Two great supporting performances by Shagrock and CLOVES, it was time to bring out our favourite Aussie rock band.
Any empty space was quickly filled as the lights dimmed for the headliners that received a very warm welcome from the Redland Bay crowd. Their set started with front man Sam taking centre stage to sing and play as we stared and listened to a new song ‘Teeth’. The rest of the band kicked in for ‘Cut Me Loose’ that rapidly escalated the excitement as Sam jumped in the crowd to dance right next to me and nearly scull my beer, which I kindly offered of course. Popular single ‘Hold Me Back’followed on that sent the pub into a sing along frenzy as expected, quite different to‘Go On’ that’s another new track that we weren’t familiar with. The band obviously admire their fans dancing and singing along, so they made it clear they’re going to mix it up with some new and old songs to balance it out.
Sam continued to have issues with his guitar noticeably cutting in and out during their songs which they handled well with laughter, he later dropped his guitar that put an end to it’s use for the night. It was later replaced and they carried on with ‘The Best We Got’, their rendition of Chance The Rapper’s ‘Same Drugs’and funky new tune ‘I Know’which will definitely be a stand out on ‘LO LA RU’. The new songs were well received by the Queensland crowd, but ‘The Day You Went Away’ and crowd favourite ‘My Gun’are sure standouts.
Our boys from Menagle welcomed support act CLOVES back to stage to take over the challenging role of Sarah on their latest single ‘Never Ever’that she nailed exceptionally. The couple friendly love song ‘Elvis’made an appearance that saw the crowd sing and sway along, to later bounce along to ‘Hallelujah’. It’s fair to say most fans were judgemental when first single ‘Million Man’ was released, however played live brings the song to life with it’s catchiness and elements of Hip Hop influence.
In an act to end their set early they placed down their instruments and said their goodbyes, this is a Queensland crowd and no way anyone was leaving anytime soon. So they walked back on stage to a rowdy crowd singing ‘Hey Baby (If You’ll Be My Girl)’, luckily that was enough to motivate them to play another two songs. The last remaining classics consisted of two groundbreaking songs for The Rubens. ‘Lay It Down’was the band’s first single song to receive airplay, then the unpredictable winner to beat Kendrick Lamar in the Hottest 100, the absolute banger of ‘Hoops’. What a way to end their set and our weekends.
For those that have already attended the ‘Never Ever’ tour have learnt two things: The Rubens are still one of Australia’s best live bands and ‘LO LA RU’ is an album to look forward too. From what was played it’s different to their previous hit album ‘Hoops’, but definitely a step forward for the band. Our friends In WA, VIC and NSW, get your tickets now and get down with The Rubens as they conclude their national tour. For those that managed to seem them, their new album ‘LO LA RU’ is released on June 29th 2018.
Review by Christian Kaftritsas