REVIEW: RUFUS at NEX Newcastle

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It’s been a while since I’ve been to a local gig. My job usually has me getting sweaty in mosh pits here there and everywhere, but when I got the chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with the local kids once more, of course I jumped at it. But since it’s been a while, I really forgot what a sold out home town crowd looks like, but… the scene that met my music loving ears and eyes at Nex last night was a pretty stark reminder of exactly what I had been missing. RUFUS, the electronic outfit hailing from South Newy, Aka Sydney, played to a sold out and ever hungry crowd and produced the absolute goods.

There was barely any wiggle room as I squeezed in, just in time to see the Sydney trio not only light up the stage, but illuminate the entire room. For anyone who has experienced a show at Nex, especially recently, knows just how large that space can be, but people found and owned their space. Behind the railings of the upper level with space to dance, on their tippy toes on staircases, bopping through the bar line, no matter where they were, they were loving it. Two particularly savvy punters somehow found their way to the 3rd floor, taking in the entire experience from above… And what an experience that was. The entire dance floor moving, partying and just flipping living life large as RUFUS spun and performed tracks from Bloom and, to the delight of the ‘day one’s’ amongst the crowd, tracks from their equally stunning record, Atlas.

I’ll be the first to admit that I do have a little bit of music bias. See I’m always a little sceptical about walking into an electronic outfit performing live on stage. Those who witnessed the disaster that was the Avalanches big live comeback (don’t get me wrong, they have since redeemed themselves) will know what I’m talking about. But the Sydney trio didn’t simply turn up to give a passive performance. They played live, and really gave it. Partying and performing onstage, hits like Brighter, Say a Prayer for Me and Be With You, the crowd soaked up every single tasty tuna morsel they could get their hands on.

The entire set was a true testament to just how great RUFUS really are. They play and exude beautiful electronic music. It’s as simple and straight forward as that. Their tunes strike the delicate balance between the kind of music you want to party with, but also the kind of tracks that are there to hold your hand through the ever glorious and mostly graceful comedown. To see them play live, to a packed out, ever hungry and downright delightful crowd was quite an experience. The Newcastle live music scene is certainly calling me back, and if this RUFUS gig is anything to go by, 2017 is going to be a glorious year for the Newcastle Music scene.

About the Author

Laura Kebby

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I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.

About the Photographer

Jesse Rowbottom


With a love of powerful landscapes and the complexity of the individual, my work has been inspired from the surreal art of Marc Adamus, Robert Beideman and Joe McNally, striving to capture the beauty that can exist in the smallest of moments to the largest events.

If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live

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