Live Review: The Rubens, Sures, and OXBLVD – Goodgod Small Club (16.04.2012)

OXBLVD start the night at Goodgod Small Club, the lead singer looks the part of a country/blues/rock band with a wide-brimmed hat and boots. The band’s energy on stage is infectious, they’re obviously comfortable playing together and in front of an audience.

They definitely would have won some fans by giving away copies of their new single ‘Tease Me’, a fun toe-tappingly catchy, thigh-slap worthy song. They finish their set with a rocking version of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ and manage to bring a new edge to it.
Judging on their stage presence and catchy singles, OXBLVD are definitely a band to look out for.

Sures were next up, a band who seem to be finding their feet on stage. Fresh off a support slot for Bleeding Knees Club on the weekend, the band could be forgiven for appearing flat.

Each song in their set sounded the same as the last and the drums were so heavy it was hard to hear the lead singer’s voice over them. A couple of problems with feedback in their microphones meant the end of their set came almost as a relief. With some more contrast and time on stage together, Sures would be a great band to dance to.

The Rubens open strongly and work through their first few songs easily. Their mix of long guitar solos, heartfelt lyrics and a strong bass line is a great combination. There’s only one problem with long guitar solos, it’s easy to lose interest in them if you have a short attention span.

This is true of the couple who decide everyone nearby needs to hear their conversation. They’re not loud enough to be offensive, just annoying and it detracts from the atmosphere of the show. The Rubens’ set is mainly an introduction to the album they’ll release later this year but singles ‘My Gun’ and ‘Cowboy Song’ are also well-received.

Apart from a speaker crackling and a bit of microphone feedback halfway through the set, the sound is faultless. Lead singer Sam Margin’s voice is full of emotion, especially in ‘Stand For You’. This angsty, almost angry song is the peak of the set – until ‘Lay It Down’.

It’s so well recognised, the first note makes the crowd erupt into cheers. The ballad has everyone going through their own moment and is definitely the highlight of the set. From what we’ve heard tonight, the album The Rubens will release later this year is definitely one to look forward to.

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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