Ruts DC formed from the ashes of The Ruts, a politically charged UK punk band with reggae overtones, they are still going today some years later and we caught up with them and tapped into this expansive history. GIGsoup talked to original member David Ruffy and managed to cover, in a single conversation, topics as diverse as a Joe Strummer movie launch, footwear choices, classic radio comedy shows and a murder allegation.
When did your relationship with Camden start?
I remember going to Holt’s (now the British boot company) in Kentish Town Road and buying some ox blood brogue Dr Martin shoes in the ’70s and going to Camden Palace to see bands and eventually playing there with the Ruts when it was called the Music Machine.
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Have you played in Camden before?
Well yes at the Music Machine in the late ’70s and more recently at Koko as it’s now called supporting Wilco Johnson and playing at a Joe Strummer movie launch
What was your reaction when you knew you would be playing there this year?
I’m very pleased we have been asked, as a London band it feels right and proper that we should.
Have you been to Camden Market, what did you buy?
Yes, vinyl, shoes, marine iced and dinner plus my girlfriend had a stall there in the ’80s
Which Camden venue is the best to play at?
I like the Dublin Castle, the Jazz Cafe and Koko.
Do you know any Camden trivia?
Well I don’t know if this counts but back in the ’70s before security men were monitored, the Music Machine (now Koko) had some notorious bouncers. I remember one guy used to walk round wearing one leather glove intimidating young vulnerable punk rockers, they would walk around in pairs and drag them into the fire exits and often throw them down the stairs after beating up on them I remember at least one young man being (allegedly – GIGsoup) beaten to death.
On a lighter note, the same venue used to be called the Camden Palace and the BBC used to record the legendary radio Goon Shows which starred Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe.
Why should I as a gig goer make an effort to see you guys at Camden this year?
We are on great form at the moment we have just released our best album ‘Music Must Destroy’ and, although we have a strong legacy, we are relevant and are currently at the top of our game
Whether historically significant or relevant today Ruts DC are worth watching, their latest single ‘Kill The Pain’ is being well received and they are currently touring with fellow punk trailblazers The Stranglers after which they will be at Camden Rocks on June 3rd, tickets HERE