Wrong genre, wrong time, wrong place – Greenside at Infirmary St is lovely but it’s not really a late night gig venue – yet French four-piece Ruby in the Rough come out winning, thanks to an exuberant performance of their jolly decent indie guitar pop.
They’ve Fringified this otherwise straight gig by giving it a French bistro vibe with candlelit cafe tables and ‘menus’ featuring their set list split into different ‘courses’. There’s a raffle too, won by your correspondent, with personalised M&Ms and free tickets as a prize.
Musically, they’re clear anglophiles, right down to lead singer Elisa’s mockney vocals, which have spirit but can sometimes be hard to make out. It’s broadly Britpoppy. Lush spring to mind but that may be more because of the styling and two girl, two boy set-up. There’s perhaps some Throwing Muses in there too and at one point guitarist Lucas goes surf-rock. At others, he makes use of whammy bar to add some texture.
Things get interesting when Lucas moves on to a Russian hang-like instrument for a song called Emerald Dress. It gives a very distinctive flavour to the band’s sound and more of that would have been very welcome.
Hard-working drummer, Emile, is tempted out from behind his stack to shake some tambourine on one song – a role that, in fairness, he doesn’t look entirely comfortable with – while keyboardist Victoria boosts the sound and gives the band a second vocal option.
Elisa keeps energy high, leaping around and encouraging the audience. There’s plenty to join in with too – a ‘ba-ba-ba’ singalong on Jewel Upon My Hand and a slower number ‘for you lovers’. They give a good show. Maybe Greenside is a gig venue after all…