Follow 2021’s ‘ElectrAcoustiC’ album with a second volume of acoustic interpretations that delves into their back catalogue as both The Ruts and Ruts DC, and also reimagines some of the choice cuts from their new ‘Counterculture?’ album from last year. Segs Jennings and David Ruffy knock out a master class in reinventing electric songs acoustically. Returning to Perry Vale Studios in Forest Hill, South London, the album was once again recorded by former Vibrators bassist Pat Collier and mixed and mastered by Greg Wizard Fleming. The mantra of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it serves these gentlemen well as they kinda fix a sound that aint so much broke but reimagined.

Whilst Ruts DC’s reputation as an awesome live electric band they aren’t strangers to stripping it back to its most basic unplugged sound as back in 2014 they took to the intimate 12 Bar stage to do just that.

More recently they took this version of the band’s songs to the large surroundings of the prestigious Opera House stage at Rebellion Festival this year, Ruts DC’s catalogue of songs lends themselves perfectly to this unplugged vibe and reimagined they take on a new lease of life and certainly a whole new feel and appreciation for how good these songs are.

In 2022, the band finally followed 2016’s ‘Music Must Destroy’ album with their acclaimed new album ‘Counterculture?’, giving Ruts DC a whole new arsenal of songs to strip-down and refocus but not forgetting their history and back catalogue.

Gathering at drummer David Ruffy’s house with guitarist Leigh Heggarty, the band sat together and went through songs from the present, and the past, testing what would work well in the acoustic setting. Cherry-picking some choice moments from ‘Counterculture?’ they reached back to the original Ruts days to revisit ‘Backbiter’, the anthemic ‘Staring At The Rude Boys’ and a sublime ‘Love In Vain’.

The band doesn’t shy away from their often painful look early days when Malcolm passed and the 1981 album ‘Animal Now’, recorded soon after Owen’s tragic passing, with Segs taking over on lead vocals. It was understandably a really tough time for the band, but the music lives on and in many ways has thrived since with time an appreciation of just how good these songs are. Reclaiming them in different guises and treating them with respect and giving them a new lease of life must be a great feeling because they do sound fantastic, and the likes of ‘Despondency’, ‘Mirror Smashed’ and the rarely played single ‘Different View’ given this new acoustic life but whilst being stripped back they are no less powerful and that’s down to the class songwriting and the masterful playing.

A fantastic album that deserves your attention and turntable time – Buy It!



Author: Dom Daley

December 2023 tour:

Thursday, 7th December – COLCHESTER – Arts Centre

Friday, 8th December – DUBLIN – The Workman’s Club

Saturday, 9th December – BELFAST – Voodoo

Sunday, 10th December – LONDON – The Garage

Wednesday, 13th December – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club

Thursday, 14th December – GLASGOW – Oran Mor

Friday, 15th December – EDINBURGH – Mash House

Saturday, 16th December – MANCHESTER – The Ritz

Sunday, 17th December – NOTTINGHAM – Rescue Rooms

Tuesday, 19th December – EXETER – Pheonix

Wednesday, 20th December – CARDIFF – Clwb Ifor Bach

Thursday, 21st December – SOUTHAMPTON – The 1865

Friday, 22nd December – GUILDFORD – Suburbs @ The Holroyd

Saturday, 23rd December – BRISTOL – Thekla