The phrase “Britain’s best-kept secret” gets used to described a lot of new bands – usually wildly inaccurately, for bands who have yet to play outside their rehearsal rooms in Hoxton. Yet how else are Rubylux to be labeled?
Here, after all, is a remarkable band who have already released their own live DVD; who have a thriving official fanclub with an ever-growing number of disciples paying a £10 annual subscription; who are one of the few Western bands to have toured Vietnam; whose songs have been played on Heroes and Neighbours; and whose spontaneous Street Gigs earned them enough money to fund recording their debut album with James Sanger, producer of Madonna, U2 and Manic Street Preachers.
Those feats may be impressive, but they’re not as impressive as Rubylux’s soaring music. Distilled perfectly into the 45 minutes of debut album Fake Control, it’s a sound that swerves passionately from the universal anthemics of The Boy Could Fly and Gold Rush via the political fire of They Sold You and Westminster to the thunderous, harsh rock on I Want You and Heart Made By Machines. And it’s a sound that has already won over thousands of people around Britain since the quartet first had their idea for the Street Gigs in their native Brighton three years ago.
Singer/guitarist Rob Humphreys explains: “I was a busker from when I was 12, and I knew that Street Gigs could reach music fans who either wouldn’t usually go to gigs, or who used to but who have families now and couldn’t see bands live any more.”
That universal appeal came quickly once the band formed in 2007. Rob and keyboardist Adam Harris had played together since they were at secondary school, eventually meeting drummer Mike Hall and bassist Clark Coslett-Hughes through the Brighton band scene.
“Within the first couple of rehearsals, we knew this was the perfect line-up,” recalls Rob, 26. “Our sound is universal, and I’d love to be known as a band of the people, but it’s not deliberate – it’s come about from us all loving the same type of songs.”
With such a devoted worldwide fanbase that other more established bands would kill for, isn’t it frustrating that Rubylux are virtually unknown in the mainstream at home in Britain? “Not at all,” Rob insists. “I’ve always thought Britain might be one of the hardest countries for us to crack, but that won’t stop us trying.
“There’s a lot in our music that people can love. Yes, our music is instant. But, the more people listen, the more they can get into the finer details and our lyrics.
“The idea of succeeding at home doesn’t frustrate me, it’s a challenge. We won’t stop until we’ve pulled that off.”