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Born Ruffians

Hoxton Bar & Grill, 27th May 2008

Written by Charles Drakeford


A mad dash to find the venue led to my great relief in realizing that I hadn’t missed tonight’s support act, Thomas Tantrum. Their captivating lead singer was perhaps one of the best things of the evening. Her voice is enriched with dry wit and British charm, and I found it difficult to take my eyes off her. There was a point in their set though when I was particularly worried for the safety of the bassist, he seemed only moments away from careering right off the stage and into me – which would have spilt my beverage for sure!

Born Ruffians seemed to gather on stage from all over the place. In fact the whole set was a somewhat magnificently ramshackle affair. Considering the first half compiled of only drums, bass and vocals (due to some technical difficulties) I found them so endearing I barely noticed. This band use vocals to full effect, layering their drawls, yelps and pirate-like garrrs to create something so effortlessly catchy that the crowd can’t help but attempt to sing along.

Songs like ‘Hummingbird’ and ‘Foxes Mate For Life’ get the biggest reaction from the crowd, to the point where said Ruffians look genuinely surprised by the fond reaction of this bustling crowd. The latter of these two tracks was my favourite of the set. The effortless layering of vocals by front man Luke Lalaonde (which is really fun to say) was impressive to say the least.

When the time came for them to leave the stage the crowd seemed to rise in disappointment. Cries of “One more or I’ll cry” seemed to sway them however. They finally left the stage to a waves of adoration after which I don’t believe anyone stayed for the after party, as I myself needed a good sit down to recover from all the excitement.

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