Ruston Kelly is one of the most promising artists of 2018 and his album Dying Star is some of the best material that has come from the country and americana world in a long time – in fact in music in general. A raw authentic artist with absolutely no bulls**t – what you see is what you get with Ruston and he isn’t going to change for anyone and thank goodness.
Ruston made his UK debut at London’s The Slaughtered Lamb in September and the sold out show and demand for more brought him back to support the UK’s own The Wandering Hearts.
Ruston just completed a headline tour in the US and I hope it won’t be long before he plays a string of headline shows in the UK. Having him support The Wandering Hearts in one hell of a show and more than your money’s worth.
The tour commenced in Bath at The Komedia Club on Wednesday 21st November. Only living 1 hr ish away, driving around Bath especially at night can be quite challenging and lots of turns were missed making us do a tour of the city centre. Now I said I only live an hour ish away but I’ve never really visited Bath before, not properly other than the odd night out but my goodness it looked spectacular in the crisp evening with all the Christmas lights. It is such a gorgeous city with really stunning buildings that make even the kebab shops look stylish and up market.
The Komedia venue itself is really very lovely. A small theatre, it is very homely.
Ruston arrived on stage to a full crowd and sat on a chair to start his set. With a harmonica and guitar, Ruston had to stop mid half song “There’s something wrong with my f***ing mic stand”. Sorting it in seconds he continued with his song. Singing tracks from his sensational album Dying Star, Ruston wowed the audience with his authentic, raw vocals, slick, smart lyrics and quick wit. One woman in the audience however didn’t seem that bothered and Ruston called her out quickly; “Hey Woman in the front talking loudly, shut the f**k up for maybe two minutes, I don’t care about your appointment, I am trying to do my job up here”. Half the crowd didn’t know how to react whilst the other half applauded. I was with the latter; there is nothing more annoying than people who talk loudly during shows.
Blackout was a stunning performance as expected and I instantly regretted not being at his Slaughtered Lamb show earlier but then I couldn’t make it so can’t regret too much.
Ruston complained about a bleeding finger he had that occurred backstage. A woman handed him what seemed to be an antiseptic wipe. Grateful but also confused to why she had it, Ruston joked about it being a tissue she had sneezed into and how they are now related; her mucus, his blood. “Gross” he laughs.
With it being his first time in Bath, Ruston kept saying Bath in a British accent which was funny. “British accents sound so much nicer” he says “American accents just seem annoying in comparison like even just the word please. Like please shut up”.
Having won most of the crowd over, Ruston seemed to be enjoying himself and I for one was glad to finally have seen him. A fantastic and real performance with no filters so to speak, as I said above; what you see with Ruston is what you get and he was certainly my kind of person.
Ending with the story of how he wrote this song next to a dumpster on his hand, he went into Faceplant, again off his Dying Star album which is a must-have record. Ruston thanks the audience and then says “and thank you to the lady at the front who finally shut up. I got to hear all the details about her doctors appointment that she was telling her friend. Save it for cocktail hour next time.”
30 minutes was too short, but that’s always the case with support acts but Ruston should be returning next year for some headline shows and that will be one hell of a tour that I urge everyone to go to. Ruston is the real deal so grab your chance to see an artist who is soon to be selling out much bigger venues.
Leaning more towards the Americana sound; Ruston’s music makes you stop, think and listen, really listen (apart from that one lady). Ruston goes against everything Country radio is all about and thank god. He is simply just one of the coolest and he doesn’t even need to try.