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  • Last Stop Sounds

Gig Review: The Ruts DC, TV Smith and The Gentle Scars at O2 Liverpool - 26 November 2022

The Gentle Scars are fronted by a lot a of charisma in the form of Ste Lamb and backed by a lot of musical talent. They produce a skewed form of glam rock meets Johnathan Richman sounds (yes it can be done) that mix high energy good melodies with blasts of guitar sleaze and straightforward danceability. Each chorus is memorable and unique, they songs vary in tempo from out and out rockers to more haunting slower material, all with magnificent catchy vocal melodies ringing out on top of some excellent musicianship all round.

TV Smith the once time front person of the Adverts bounces onto the stage. He is on his own armed only with an acoustic guitar and some attitude. His songs travel well from full band format to solo acoustic performance and the voice is still massively strong and clear. Ideas are being communicated from the stage, some curious but then make sense in the context Smith puts them in - such as handwriting being equated to freedom and being banned in the future. Entertaining and thoughtful.

The Ruts DC take their places relatively slowly and only when ready do they start to burn up the place. The bass heavy sound is still there, wrapped around the incredibly tight drumbeats. Melodies float eerily on-top of one of the tightest rhythm sections around and some true guitar heroics keep it all more than interesting. They can skank it up and Dub it down with the best. The Ruts can also throw in a nice Motorhead like moment (or ten) generating enough noise to make any hardcore music lover happy. There’s also a cover of Silver Machine dedicated to Nik Turner, Public Image name checking Keith Levene and Rosette dedicated to Wilko Johnson to remind us of some recently deceased greats. When they launch into Babylons Burning I’m taken by surprise.

I was feeling tired/poorly/sorry for myself as I got to this gig. I promised myself that I’d leave early, that I’d watch a few songs by the Ruts and go home to put my feet up. I watched the whole hour plus set without even checking my watch or feeling like leaving as they held me transfixed.

Words: Richie Yates, Photos: Adrian Wharton/Richie Yates


Ruts DC:

TV Smith:

The Gentle Scars:

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