Ernest Rambles, with support from Stu Downes, at Muir Hub, Muir of Ord.
After spending the whole day out in the beautiful spring sunshine, I made my short journey down to the newly opened Muir Hub in the centre of Muir of Ord. My reason for going to The Hub was for an evening of Live music, something that doesn’t happen often enough in the sleepy little village. The host for the evenings entertainment were Ernest Rambles, who were performing for the third night in a row, for the launch of their debut album My Friends Call Me …..
After two successful gigs in Mad Hatters in Inverness and The Arch Inn in Ullapool, Ernest Rambles arrived to help The Muir Hub host its first ever musical event. In The Hub there is a room at the back of the building which is set out with stadium style seating and great acoustics, with a capacity of around 50 people and all bar a couple of seats were filled for the show.
Kicking the evening off was Londoner Stu Downes a old friend of The Rambles lead singer David Rudge and one of his first guitar teachers. His Deep South Blues style is a joy to behold and had everyone in attendance leaning forward trying to draw in more. He starts of with a rich and beautiful track from the Rev Gary Cole before moving on to his version of Ramblings and Running complete with harmonica. Downes plays with such passion and love for the blues that it makes you want to cry out for more as he announces that his last track of the evening will be Crossroad Blues. Overall a very solid performance and one that I personally would love to see again.
After a short intermission on came the main act of the evening Ernest Rambles. Having been listening to band for over a year now, I got a surprise when they announced a new member to the band Ashley Mackay from Ashley and the Cosmonauts fame, to add to Richard Bell on Drums, Martin Bell on Double Bass and David Rudge on lead vocals and guitar. This was a very welcome addition as it helps bring to the band a more fuller rounded out sound.
The opening track of the night was Questions, a soft melodic track which acts a perfect introduction to the band, with the perfect combination of drums, double bass, electro-acoustic guitar and pleasant vocals. They followed this up with Save Your Prayers, the opening track from their album. The track has a upbeat Ska feel to it, the thing that caught me on this track was the distinctive voice of lead singer Rudge, which I thought was very similar to Men at Work singer Colin Hay’s solo stuff.
Next up was Too Late Again, a catchy harmony between Rudge and Mackay that had the whole room tapping away (so catchy it was still in my head at the time of writing this!) Look Me In The Eye was the next to be played and I felt that this was probably the best track of the night, if only for Martins singing/shouting section within it. The band continued with Send a Smile, with a slow start it gradually builds in to a nice upbeat pop song and this is what I think makes Ernest Rambles such a great act to catch as there are so many different styles within the band from Blues to Pop to Ska, it makes for such an entertaining mix.
No Easy Thing, which is about the times that Rudge and his wife were working in a chalet in France and how tiring that job was. They then set themselves up for a great finish with Broke a song about been at your lowest but still persevering and Sliding away. The band finish on a strong note with The Anchor, the final track on their album.
Overall the event was a great success and hopefully with more to come from the Muir Hub. Ernest Rambles are not your average band from this area, no skinny jeans and silly hairstyles to be seen just great music played to the best of their abilities. I can not implore you enough to go and catch Ernest Rambles at your first opportunity and when you do you will probably catch me front and centre.