Monday, July 17, 2006
Peel Sessions 16
John Peel's had a long term love affair with reggae, I can remember many a next day where I would try and track down some 12" import that he had spun the previous night. His support for this musical idiom did not stop with Jamaican artists and he was only to happy to give a helping hand to UK talent, one of these bands was Southall's Misty In Roots who delivered 9 sessions between 1979 and 2002. Misty were highly active in the UK's sadly necessary Rock Against Racism movement and through this connection they met up with another local band who were beginning to mix punk and reggae and were to do so with much better results than other bands. Misty had started their own record label, People Unite, and were only to happy to release the debut single from their new friends the Ruts. Upon hearing the single Peel wasted no time and got the band in for a January 1979 session were they laid down 'Babylon's Burning' a classic slice of Uk punk with a monster riff that would be latter rerecorded for their first single for Virgin. They went on to record 4 sessions and for their 3rd they recorded this superior version of 'In a Rut' which was of course the song that graced their vinyl debut. Arguably the band were destined for great things but this was not to be as singer Malcolm Owen a long time heroin abuser who had cleaned up took a fatal overdose on July 11 1980. They left behind them a handful of top singles an impressive debut album "The Crack" and the record label cash in demos and out takes album "Grin And Bear It". the three remaining member regrouped under the name Ruts DC, the DC being an abbreviation of the Latin da capo, new beginning, but without Malcolm the spark had gone.
They are one of the few bands that I really do regret never having seen on stage as I'm sure that their reputation as one of the better of the second wave of UK punk was also borne out on stage.