By Chris Patmore, Rock At Night London Correspondent
VENUE: The Dome, Tufnell Park, London – The Rubens
One of the problems with Australian music is that most of the good stuff hardly ever makes it out of the country. However, over the decades the aural landscape has changed quite significantly. The predominantly pub-rock music has given way to a much more diverse range. It should also be noted that a lot of those bands, especially the ones that made it big, were primarily made up British migrants (or ex-pats as they prefer to be called).
A couple of generations on, the influences of British and American music are still there, but a new distinct Australian sound has developed that reflects the culture dominated by sunshine and long weekends. And The Rubens are definitely a fine example of this.
Their music certainly carries shades of the old ozrock – being a guitars-and-drums-based band – but with hints of blues and soul, and a good dose of fine melodies that make for great pop songs. And while “pop” might be seen as something of an insult for serious bands, one of Australia’s greatest musical exports, Crowded House, crafted perfect pop songs.
The Rubens have just completed their second UK tour, albeit it a brief one, which included a sold-out gig at London’s The Dome. It was a predominantly Aussie (and female) audience, and they certainly showed a lot of enthusiasm, which the band returned in kind, interacting with the audience, as they belted out songs from both their albums.
As mentioned earlier, not many Australian bands crack the UK and/or US market, which is already oversaturated with local bands, but The Rubens have the right combination of great songs, fantastic live stage presence and an established fan base that they should be able to build on for the success they are already enjoying at home.
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