Red Rum Club’s first headline gig at the Zanzibar was to be a pivotal moment in the history of this Liverpool band. It was the first time they had sold out a venue, aided in part, by a very concerted social media campaign, their record company and management plus the efforts of BBC Introducing at Radio Merseyside.
In a modern musical landscape that has been described oh too similar, Red Rum Club stand out, with their powerful mariachi trumpet signature sound. Their Americana inspired music has hints of Ennio Mariconne mixed with the Killers and would not be out of place in the musical backdrop of a Tarantino block buster.
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Two hours before they took the stage, the venue was filled to capacity; the air heavy with anticipation. A succession of support acts had kept the audience busy; particularly Little Triggers whose high energy set with echoes of the Doors and Jimmi Hendrix had got the party well and truly started.
What was evident about this gig was the diverse mix of people; young music fans and not so young music fans, coming together to enjoy this exciting new band in a friendly, party atmosphere. I spoke to one woman who had come along solely upon hearing them the previous week on radio. She could not recall their name but that they would be at the Zanzibar this evening and just had to see them!
The lights dimmed and suddenly we were off. Although the band is not named after the local, legendary racehorse, their music has a certain galloping rhythm to it. The name originates from the entity in the film “The Shining” which predicts impending murders. Luckily there was to be no murdering of songs this evening. Red Rum Club was to prove once again that they are a very powerful and competent live band, true to their recording studio sound.
The opener “Gasoline” shifted the audience up another gear and started the dancing that was to carry on all night. Their newly released single, “Alone Together” followed next. New songs such as “Honey” and the incredibly catchy “The TV said so” were aired for the first time in Liverpool and instantly embraced.
Vocalist Fran Doran took total command of the audience, interacting more than he has ever done so previously. “We ARE the Red Rum Club” he announced on several occasions whilst linking songs and giving the trumpet player a welcome few minutes’ break. Ever polite he thanked the audience throughout the set.
Just before the final song he thanked the support bands and asked the audience to show their appreciation too. A particularly nice gesture was for him to ask every member of the audience to thank the person next to them for coming along. The band had been clearly moved by the size of the audience and the reception afforded them. The farewell song, “Would you rather be lonely?” was slowly played in, and the audience went wild punching the air, singing and dancing and swaying along.
The applause lasted a good few minutes with many people in the audience thinking there would be an encore, but there were simply no more songs for now…
The Red Rum Club have grown in so many ways, their music, confidence and their fan base, which on this evening included someone who had travelled from as far as Edinburgh to see them. They have won over Liverpool, now they need to win over the rest of the UK and beyond.