The Rubys: The Gemstones of Manchester

What happens if Garth Brooks and Boys Like Girls collide? A good amount of awesome-sauce. My ears knows no boundaries- whether you got your music on during the Nazi invasion or right before the Mayan's apocalypse, as long as you hit a right note on my critical taste, then I'll be by your side forever. The thing about good music is that they are surely sporadic, but never ephemeral. Pretty much like gemstones on diversity: hard to get but harder to let go.

On the era of self-ishness (self-taught, self-published, self-produced, self-supported) it is a test of luck to stumble upon something that is worth listening. However, I got good lines on my hands: I have found a not so country, not so alternative, but completely cool rock band through twitter: The Rubys.

The Rubys is a five-piece independent band from Manchester. It is somehow a concoction of highly experienced musicians who happened to think of forming a band two years ago. For a short span of time, they have already won the hearts of their locales and other music-lover across the globe.

The band:

(From left to right)

Lee Hunter: Lead Singer; huge fan of Punk & Radiohead. Sole Lyric Writer.
Barry "Buddha Ruby" Kirkwood: Rhythm Guitarist and usually the guy that starts the writing process song ideas. Started his career in The Whiskey Flowers with drummer Dave Earlam 20 years ago.
Dave Earlam: Drummer
Tat Sing Kong: Lead Guitarist
Mikey Hamilton: Bassist

"We wanted to evoke echoes of classic 50s' bands, when rock was pure and untainted." said the drummer Dave on the question about their band's name. He also added the bands Rueben and The Jets as some of their inspiration in coming up with their name The Rubys.

"The name has took on a character of its own, reflecting the band pretty accurately. A recent fanzine review of a live show referred to us as The Gemstones of Manchester, which was pretty flattering."


The Rubys have released 3 singles (2 of which were EPs) and one album, Limelight Parasite, produced by Martin Coogan, a former Mock Turtle member and a constant on the Manchester (UK) live circuit and familair to many UK festival goers. Rich support in their home town has blossomed elsewhere; scored their first #1 with "After All" on the SrRocks.com Countdown in Philadelphia back in April, and generated a significant US following on the back of 100k of plays of the "Sun" EP on Jango. The band is now playing coast to coast, with regular radio specials in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and more. 

Limelight Parasite: 

1. Last Night
2. Good Times
3. After All
4. Jesus Girl
5. MLE (My Lady England)
6. Ten Seconds
7. Echo
8. Not Like You
9. The Fear

The song that truly surprised the band is After All. 

"I can recall waking up one morning at 6:30am and checking my Twitter feed, to see that After All had pushed Bruce Springsteen (OMG!) off the Philly Countdown #1 spot within weeks of release. Really blown all of us away, and we owe so much to Bernie Overly at SRRocks for 'breaking us' in the US, and to Beth Cregger and Larry Rust for keeping us there. Its great to have supporters, and it would take a lot to beat these three guys. " Dave humbly said.

"Bizarrely, we outsell in the US compared to the UK by 2 to 1. We've found a place in peoples hearts in the US, and in the UK - and we're extremely humbled by that as a consequence" said Dave as he emphasize his surprise on how their music have crossed shores and reached the hearts of some Americans.

The Music:

What I honestly find interesting about The Rubys is that they sound so much like the other bands- but not really quite. At first I have made up my mind that they sound like The Fray, then when I hit next they sound like Boys Like Girls, and the bafflement goes on, I keep on hearing different musicians as I hit the next button. My verdict is this: The Rubys is made to be an epitome of all the perks good music has to offer.

"I think our compelling quality is that its reflected in the music. There is no wallpaper muzak with The Rubys." Dave answered on the question about their band's edge compared to other existing bands.

In all honesty, I find the group's physique quite an edge itself. Admit it: some, if not most of the rock bands of today, gain stardom through their looks and their music becomes only a supplementary element. But here comes five fully grown man with only sheer talent as their major weapon- no teenage pheromones.

"Like all musicians, we take our music seriously,but not so seriously we lose perspective." Dave said. He also added a quirky story that happened with one of their songs The Fear.

"When we were writing The Fear, we became aware that the lyric was evolving into one relating to domestic abuse, which is sadly still a big problem in the United Kingdom. It is a really strong song -good striding bass and a very different structural approach to our other material on Limelight Parasite. It was the right standard for a single, but every time we came to agree rudimentary qualities - such as the cover shot, where it was sold, the video content- we couldn't ignore the very serious and damaging subject matter at the core of the song. Rather than run from it, or dilute it in some way, we embraced it; we got in contact with the leading Domestic Abuse Charity in the UK, shared the song with them, and received their endorsement, and made a lot of money for them as a result. It was a good lesson to us that there are times when 'The Song' can be so much bigger than 'The Band'.

On a lighter note, we were asked once "who was "Jesus Girl", the fourth track on Limelight Parasite. I think the journalist was expecting a deep and meaningful answer, relating to a genderless spirituality of some form. Instead, he found out that the term "Jesus" was being used as an expletive, as in; "Jesus, Girl - whats the problem?". A good, if comical, moment."

"We've always set out with just two needs; to continue to be relevant, and be limited only by our imagination."

That quote pretty much exemplify the wonders The Rubys has to offer. A band only limited by their won imagination, yet does not forget to remain relevant- excellent.

The Rubys will be having a tour on East Coast America as a sign of gratitude to all their fans! For more information, click on the sites below:

Official Website: www.therubys.co.uk
Twitter: @The_Rubys

Still not that considered? Click on the video below and ponder.

*Photo credits goes to The Rubys and Rotted Grape Photography

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