Born Ruffians show their raw talent

(Ryan Hueglin -- Photography Manager)
(Ryan Hueglin — Photography Manager)

The weather might have been dreary for most of Thursday October 17, but it certainty wasn’t humdrum for the Born Ruffians at Starlight. Coming from a strenuous tour itinerary that saw them play Hamilton the previous night, the band showed no signs of fatigue as they blazed through a crowd-pleased set around an hour in length.

Touring in support of their recent album Birthmarks, released April 16 of this year on Paper Bag records, it marks the Midland quartet’s third studio effort. Following 2008’s Red, Yellow and Blue and 2010’s Say it, Birthmarks fits nicely into a career from a band that understands who they are, and are far from being finished.

Originally from Midland, Ontario, before relocating to Toronto, the Born Ruffians relied on the music to show how proficient they are as musicians; they don’t need elaborate stage shows or antics to show how good they are. As a band that has been together for eight years, they know how to perform in front of a crowd.

Their stage presence was felt through the slick, cohesive execution from the band. Performing songs from their current three-album repertoire, the band performed them in a way that thrilled previously established fans and attracted those not as familiar with them as well. Moments such as like “I Need a Life” and “Retard Canard” saw the crowd’s approval of songs in their back catalogue, and numbers like “6-5000” from their latest effort meet similar sanctioning based upon crowd consent.

Their blend of poppy hooks, layered textures, and smooth-forming melodies created a musically tight yet jubilant performance that captivated the audience. Amongst the sumptuous performance, their humility never left them. They appeared through the night to be honest with themselves and the audience, revealing a group that enjoys what they’re doing and the direction they are heading.

Their interactions with the audience, from speaking directly to them in moments of instrumental adjustment, passing instances with from one song to the next revealing their understanding of the audience wanting music, which they delivered. Overall, the crowd at Starlight was treated to a performance from a band that seemed genuine in the music they create and perform. The Born Ruffians put on a show that demonstrated their ability to deliver their own brand of indie rock while maintaining a stage presence that appealed to the crowd.

While touring within the United States for the next month, the Born Ruffians will be back in Ontario on November 22 at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. For those still planning on going, or for those considering, the Born Ruffians put on a solid performance that shows a band maturing with each passing song they play, something witnessed at Starlight last Thursday night.

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