London-based concert promoter Peafish Promotions has finalized the line-up for a charity event in London this Friday (Jan. 25) which will see a string of punk rock veterans from 1977-1978 back on stage to celebrate the 30th anniversary of U.K. quartet the Ruts, whose guitarist Paul Fox died recently.
Former Black Flag vocalist-turned actor and spoken word performer Henry Rollins will introduce the night of live music and film at the Shepherds Bush Empire.
The live music part of the evening will see friends of the Ruts performing their own songs plus their favorite Ruts tunes. The confirmed performers include the Alabama 3 (performing an acoustic set) plus U.K. punk scene survivors including TV Smith (the Adverts), Captain Sensible (the Damned), Johnny Moped and — reunited for only the second time in 25 years — several of the Members.
Also appearing will be former Vice Squad vocalist Beki Bondage and Phoenix, Arizona band Glass Heroes; Peafish founder Sarah Pink promises other acts will be unveiled on the night.
“Every artist that I approached about taking part in these events was more than happy to do anything they could to help,” says Pink. “I was left in no doubt as to the immense amount of respect for the Ruts amongst their peers.”
The event is a fund-raiser for cancer charity the MacMillan Trust. Fox died of cancer Oct. 21 2007, aged 56, only three months after Peafish had organised a benefit show for him at the Islington Academy. That event in July was headlined by a reformed version of the Ruts fronted by Rollins, a long-time admirer of the band.
In a statement, Rollins said: “The Ruts are one of my favorite bands of all time, period. They were easily one of the top shelf bands from the entire British Punk scene. In the music scene where I come from, Washington DC, The Ruts were and still are a very big deal. That the band’s potential was cut short by such tragic circumstances still gets to me. Their next album would have been a knockout. I am still listening to their music, which with time, has not lost any relevance but perhaps picked up some.”
A short film of the highlights from the July show will be shown at the Jan. 25 event in memory of Fox and original Ruts vocalist Malcolm Owen, who died from a heroin overdose in 1980. Later that day, the short film will be screened at New York City East Village bar Manitoba’s (owned by Dictators vocalist Handsome Dick Manitoba).
A full recording of the July show is being released by Peafish on DVD, launched Jan. 25 and available initially only through the band’s Web site www.TheRuts.BigCartel.com.
In addition to the Rollins/Ruts material, the two-disc package includes performances by the Damned, Tom Robinson, Misty in Roots, the U.K. Subs, Splodgenessabounds, John Otway, Ed Tudor-Pole and TV Smith. The set also includes interviews with the performers. Pink says Peafish has, as yet, no international plans for a wider release.
The DVD release coincides with a new live version of the Ruts’ biggest U.K. hit, the 1979 top 10 single “Babylon’s Burning” — featuring Rollins with original band members Fox, drummer Dave Ruffy and bassist John “Segs” Jennings — being made available through Peafish as a download single at www.indiestore.com.
The Ruts, name-checked as influences by several subsequent acts from New Model Army to Nirvana, emerged from the west London punk scene in 1978.