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Live Music Review and Photos: The Rumjacks and The Silk Road at Rescue Rooms

8 February 19 words: Tina Sherwood
photos: Richard Davies

We got down to Rescue Rooms to check out The Rumjacks and Silk Road...

Celebrating ten years together, The Rumjacks eschew the stereotype of Celtic-punk, favouring a broader, less generic repertoire. The audience at Wednesday night’s Rescue Rooms gig was treated to sharp and choppy ska chords, serious metal riffs via evocative tones of the tin whistle, which goes some way to explaining why the band is a festival favourite. They might be heard playing alongside metal juggernauts Megadeth in South America, through to tiny Italian cheese festivals. Wherever they play, The Rumjacks are adored.

This is a band who deserve excellent support, and it came in the form of Chesterfield’s The Silk Road. The audience embraced their energy as they delivered a great performance to warm up the crowd.

During the evening I met Rumjack’s main man, Frankie McLaughlin, who was generous with his time and thoughts. A natural spokesman, philosopher and everyman, offering passion and insight across an entire gamut of topics.

The Rumjacks are musicians of the highest order where, unusually, everyone sings. McLaughlin demands attention from the second the lights go up. He is “A Man with a Mission” – to entertain and, with his lyrics, to inspire thought in his audience. His delivery is passionate and exciting.

Bassist, Johnny McKelvey, is reminiscent of James Hetfield, a larger-than-life performer who wants to bring the music directly to YOU! Guitarist, Gabriel Whitbourne is energetic, exciting and exuberant; Adam Kenny’s versatility allows him to change his stringed instruments with every song and, although hidden at the back, one cannot help notice the roguish persona and meticulous skill of drummer, Pietro Della Salla.

The set list presented familiar tunes, serving to ignite the audience with one voice, much to the obvious delight of the band: however, for me, the standout, eponymous track from the new album, Saints Preserve Us, is going to be a firm fan favourite for years to come.

The Rumjacks give 100% on stage. As Frankie McLaughlin mentioned throughout our chat, his personal philosophy that success is incremental based on effort, is also embraced by every single member of the band.

This is in my top ten gigs. Ever.

The Rumjacks and The Silk Road played Rescue Rooms on Wednesday 6 February 2019

Rescue Rooms website

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