Released in September 1979, The Ruts’ one and only studio album, The Crack, has been described as an “extraordinary statement of intent”.
As the energy and attitude of punk’s first wave started to fade, here was a reggae-influenced quartet from London who exploded onto the music scene.
The Crack is described as having it all, “12 power-packed songs brimming with invention and energy”.
Reaching number 16 in the UK chart, it featured a number of hits, including top-30 track Something That I said and number-seven single Babylon’s Burning.
It also features the white-reggae track Jah War, written in the aftermath of unrest in London and the over-use of force by the Metropolitan Police.
Following the deaths of singer Malcolm Owen, from a drugs overdose in 1980 – which sparked a name change to Ruts Da Capo, “marking a return to the beginning” – and guitarist Paul Fox, from lung cancer in 2007, original drummer Daved Ruffy and bassist John “Segs” Jenning recruited guitarist Leigh Heggarty –and it is this line-up which are now hitting the road.
And as 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of The Crack, the trio have said it is time to take a look back and Ruts DC have announced a special UK tour to celebrate the album’s original release, playing it in its entirety for the first time.
Segs says: “It’s always been important to us to be a current and forward-thinking band, releasing and playing new material, while being proud of our past.
“A milestone to many, The Crack is an important piece of work to us too.
“We now feel ready to celebrate where we came from.”
And Dave says: ““Making The Crack was a real game changer for me.
“The Ruts were a band that were greater than the sum of their parts and wrote music inspired by everything we had ever heard.
“It’s a piece of work that I am immensely proud to have been a part of.
“Now 40 years on, we will be playing the album in its entirety.
“It’s quite a challenge, as some of the songs have not been played since 1980.
“Our legacy is large and we are and will continue working hard to make this a great show.”
Support on the tour comes from recently reunited post-pistols legends The Professionals.
A spokesman said: “Together with Ruts DC, this tour will serve as a worthy tribute to ‘The Crack’ and two of its much-missed creators Malcolm Owen and Paul Fox.”
Ruts DC play Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Saturday, February 16. For tickets, see sheffieldacademy.co.uk