Gig Review: Ruts DC and The Professionals, Cambridge Junction,17th Feb 2019 @therutsdc @cambjunction

Where do you go to when you think that punk rock has turned old and grey? Why, the Junction in Cambridge of course… to witness two classic late seventies punk icons that still have a fire burning in their bellies and serious skills to demonstrate.

The Professionals

The Professionals offer a smorgasbord of familiar faces and ice cool talent – Tom Spencer (The Yo Yos) Toshi from Anti-Product and Hey Hello!, Chris McCormack from 3 Colours Red and of course a real live Sex Pistol – Paul Cook.

Chris’s guitar produced a sound that could disembowel wildebeest.

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Toshi took great pleasure in stalking the stage looking and sounding cool as hell – it was impossible to take your eyes off him.

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Spencer doesn’t seem at all fazed by being in Steve Jones’ place – and rightly so, he very much pulls it off. His vocals are joyous, his manner modest and his energy relentless. Kudos.

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At 62 years of age Cook still has attack determination and is tight as fuck. He is clearly very, very happy to be doing his thing and that was a pleasure to behold.

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An exciting, slick set – main highlights for me were Bad Baby, Silly Thing and Kick Down the Doors.

Ruts DC

Ruts DC more than did justice to “The Crack” album – albeit a marginally less frantic delivery than 1979 but with polish and class. Since 2011 Ruts DC has consisted of John “Segs” Jennings, Dave Ruffy and Leigh Heggarty.

Ruffy’s drumming in particular was demonstrative and tasteful throughout.

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Leigh Heggarty has the skills and understanding to be able to pull off Paul Fox’s intricate and often eloquent guitar parts with ease.

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Segs is a man with a glint in his eye, knowing he is filling shoes that are not his own. He does a seamless job of mimicry and impressionism, although Malcolm Owen’s feral 1979 snarl is replaced by something smoother and more matured.

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Highlights include the staggering Jah War, Human Punk, SUS and Out of Order.

It was almost blissful to hear this entire classic record in its original sequence.

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Ruts DC are as potent and relevant as they ever were, if you’ve not witnessed them live yet you bloody well need to.

I was blown away.

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