Canadian choral punk rabble Born Ruffians on UK tour
Warp-signed polyrhythmic indie-rockers hit the road
'Our budget for the tour was not approved,’ mourns Luke Lalonde of party rock trio Born Ruffians. ‘So there will be no eighty-metre porcelain squid, no 35-member dance troupe, and the London Symphony Orchestra will not be opening.
‘Still, we’ll bring our regular stripped down rock show to Edinburgh,’ the Canadian singer-guitarist brightens, and rightly so. Born Ruffians’ ramshackle allure lies in their boundless live energy, their polyrhythmic indie-rock (as evinced on Say It, their second album, which came out earlier this year), and their scrappy pop anthems – not least ‘Hummingbird’, which you may recall they once performed on an episode of Skins.
Born Ruffians’ inception was as amiable as their upbeat clamour: they formed at school, and have been together ever since. ‘Mitch [bass] and I are cousins, we’ve been friends since we were babies, we grew up together,’ says Lalonde. ‘We met Steve [drums] in high school and started jamming and formed a band when we were sixteen. That was eight years ago.’
Signing to electronic empire Warp in 2006 – home to experimentalists like Autechre and Aphex Twin – is probably the most anarchistic thing that the choral punk rabble has ever done. That is to say, they’re not ruffians at all.
‘I’m sure there are plenty of good things to rebel against,’ ponders the ever-ebullient Lalonde. ‘I think our mottos and directions lie elsewhere – I try and push optimism and good advice into the lyrics. We’re positive as a band,’ he concludes. ‘Maybe we’re rebelling against negativity.’
Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Thu 18 Nov