Updated: Jun 5, 2019
In support of her new EP Permanent Hermit, Ruby Fields has been cruising around the nation, playing a whole bunch of sold out shows. We rallied to catch her play at The Brightside on Friday night.
Main supports were a New Zealand special, Miss June, flown in from Auckland, to show us how punk is done on the other side of the pond.
Things started out frantic and angry, with frontwoman and founder Annabel Liddel, spraying vocals across the crowd. The first couple of songs had the noise and high energy, but went on too long, devolving into just ‘sound’ in the back end.
Early on, such as with ‘Scorpio’, I struggled to clearly understand Liddel’s vocals, which wasn’t the case with the second half of the set. I cannot be sure if this was unintended, or is a deliberate style the band has chosen for a select number of tracks. I hope it was just a one off mixing issue, as Liddel has some fun lyrics, which I would hate to be wasted.
As the set progressed, there was an obvious improvement, with the vocals and instrumentals all tightening up. It may soil any punk credibility I have, but, the tracks with greater structure were the ones I enjoyed more. Credit goes to the drummer, who worked hard on the kit the entire set. I got sweaty just looking at him crush in the background.
Miss June have hinted of a debut album, so, if you are a fan, keep an ear out in the second half of this year. I’m honestly surprised Ruby Fields has released a new EP. I was fully expecting her to coast on the success of ‘Dinosaurs’ a little longer and drop a full album next. But, an EP does mean a fresh tour, so, we can still count this as a win.
I can confirm that a Ruby Fields set delivers about all a fan could ask for. All the best songs feature from both EPs and Ruby plays them all with her signature bush pub swagger.Ruby opened it up with the song that really opened us all up to her, ‘I Want’. Her breakout track, the start of her steady ascension in Australian music, had the crowd roaring along with her.
It is still a little surreal listening to a room of people sing along to ‘pwing Runescape noobs’, but ‘Ritalin’ is full of bizarrely specific references. I think that is kind of the appeal of Ruby’s music for me, I get to dig down on the lyrics with each listen. Think there is a mention of hentai in ‘Libby’s Pink Car’...
The Friday night crowd was pretty vocal in between tracks, but this wasn’t Ruby’s first rodeo, telling to crowd to “shut their beaks” before ‘Redneck Lullaby’. Fair enough, considering the song is a slower ballad about her mother.
If I could compare Ruby Fields to anyone, it would be Paul Kelly. While they may not be on the same level yet, Ruby definitely captures the same Australian working class essence that Kelly did with his song writing, but with her own contemporary spin.
If you are into the fresh EP, have no doubt that Ruby is showcasing the EP this tour, with all the songs on the EP getting a play over the night.
‘The Unguarded Moment’ Like a Version made a cheeky appearance (taking bets now for this being on the Splendour set list), and with all the best Like a Versions, this will be a limited time offering, so get amongst while you can.
I’d heard Ruby didn’t f*ck with forced encores, so, she cut straight to the chase and dropped ‘P Plates’ and ‘Dinosaurs’ in a savage one-two combo to close everything out. No dimmed lights and unenthusiastic clapping here, Ruby rode the set out in style.
If you somehow missed seeing Ruby on this tour (seriously how, there were 3 shows in Brisbane alone), Ruby will be appearing at Splendour in the Grass 2019. Which has also sold out. I think it is time to book Ruby some bigger venues.
Check out the full gallery here