The Rubens

Tara Emily on 19 July 2012 in Gig Reviews

The Rubens

Performing on 10th July 2012 @ The Corner

Eighteen months ago, three brothers and a childhood friend came together with a love of soulful and bluesy rock and roll. That love formed The Rubens, and later, an EP in a bedroom of their family home. Since then, in their short time of existence they have won many hearts across the country and jetted off to the US to record their debut album, due to be released in September.

To celebrate the release of their new single, “Don’t Ever Want to be Found”, The Rubens have set out on a Pre-Splendour trip to Melbourne and Sydney.

First up for the night was four-piece garage band, The Pretty Littles. The band gave the crowd exactly what they say they do on their Facebook description: “Bang, Slap, Strum, YELL. And repeat. In that order.”

These guys managed to be high energy, playful, crazy and relaxed all at the same time. At one point during their set the lead singer asked the crowd: “Has anyone done any meth on a Tuesday? Because if you have that would be grossly inappropriate… but if you have I’ll see you Saturday!” Don’t worry mums and dads, he later reminded the crowd “don’t be silly!”, reminding that meth was a dirty drug.

Them Swoops were up next and began with a charismatic track that featured a unique use of the keyboard adding depth and persona to the music. The rest of their set continued to impress punters with their dark ethereal sound coupled with diverse vocals.

Plus, who doesn’t love a new band that gives you a free sampling of their music on a CD at a gig? Them Swoops left the crowd with exactly that, leaving a pleasing lasting impression.

When it was finally time for the Rubens to come out onto the stage the crowd’s attention was seriously drawn. Their operatic intro acted as a prelude to a genuine and excited chat about the size of the crowd. Their enthusiasm was well deserved, it’s impressive that the band managed to fill out the Corner in of itself, but to fill it on a Tuesday night with another gig planned for two days later is something else.

It was a pleasure to learn that Sam Margin’s vocals are as subtly beautiful live as they are recorded. Margin’s voice acted as a softener to the chest rattling bass and loud drums and in turn gave their music that iconic and expressive sentiment that they are famous for.

The stand out moment of the night was the quartet’s poignant performance of “Surely Die”. The crowd were forced to feel their own hearts breaking with the band – the song exuding intense emotions and feelings of yearning.

However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, the band took the opportunity to nervously (but successfully) test out a number of new songs for the first time, Margin at one point mentioning: “I was shitting myself about playing that song!”

Finally, and as expected, the band played the famed “Lay it Down” with finesse and the audience understandably lost it in response. In all, the performance simply heightened the expectations of the band’s upcoming album with a vigorous live show.

- Tara Emily

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