Last night Aussie alt-rock band The Rubens gave the Coogee crowd a refreshing and feel-good performance atÂ The Coogee Bay Hotel‘s historic music venue Selina.
If like me before I set foot in Oz you don’t know who The Rubens are, here’s the deal. Hailing from Menagle, New South Wales, The RubensÂ are made up of Margin brothers Sam, Zaac and Elliott togetherÂ with their friends Scott Baldwin and WillÂ Zeglis.
The band’sÂ 2011Â singleÂ My GunÂ was voted number 10 in the Triple J Hottest 100, an annual music listener poll hosted by one of Australia’s most popular radio stations. Powered by ABC, past Triple J Hottest 100s includedÂ The White Stripes’Â Seven Nation Army,Â Bittersweet SymphonyÂ by The Verve andÂ EverlongÂ by Foo Fighters. So kind of a big deal.
Then in 2015 The Rubens got even bigger, with their new album’s title track HoopsÂ reaching number one in the year’s Triple J Hottest 100. So you can imagine Sydney-siders’ excitement when they found out that one of the most popular bands in Australia was going to play for free inÂ one of Sydney’s most intimate venues, The Coogee Bay Hotel’s Selina, which in the past sawÂ Crowded House,Â Michael Hutchence of INXS and Nirvanaâ€™s Kurt Cobain hit its stage.
Going as a Rubens “virgin”, I found their gig a breath of fresh air compared to the international music scene I am used to. OK, if you know me you’re going to say: “No shit, you listen to death metal.” What I mean however is that you don’tÂ see many bands that have made it as big as The Rubens have, blending national success with tours in theÂ United States and in the United Kingdom, who are still so chill, friendly and respectful to their fans.
Realistically, how many other alt-rock bands would do a free-entry gigÂ in a local favourite venue, open to people of all backgrounds and tastes, with a tiny stage so close to the audience you could basically jump on it?
Although quite different from my usual metal/hard rock gig vibe, The Rubens’ performanceÂ was fun and feel-good, perfectly suited to a beachside venue with their upbeat sounds and warmÂ tunes. Performing a blend of their old tracks fromÂ their first albumÂ The Rubens and their latest hits, my favourite song was definitely their live rendition of My GunÂ and ofÂ The Day You Went Away, which you can see in this video I took. Blame the quality on my efforts to fend off teenage fangirls who wereÂ dry-humping me in an attempt to get closer to the stage.
So bravo, The Rubens. Will keep following you. Stay chill.
Picture: Blitz Magazine, Carolina Are, Chanibella on Instagram