There’s something cool about finding a good band very early on in their career and seeing them grow over time.

I don’t go to very many gigs – time being something of an absent commodity around here right now – but I made an exception on Friday to go and see Bitter Ruin play their penultimate London show of the year. It was just six months since we saw them perform last, at the same venue, for the launch of their album Hung, Drawn and Quartered. In that time they have hit the road big time, touring across the US (including dates with Amanda Palmer, Jason Webley and the Dresden Dolls) and Europe with results that were very visible at Friday’s gig.

Bitter Ruin have always been a band you really need to see live. Their recorded stuff, though really good, doesn’t always carry over their gentle humour and charm or the full elegance of their performance and so live they have always been good. It’s just after all that touring they got even better. An already smooth live performance has been polished like crystal, and what I assume is a technically challenging set is a joy to listen to that, combined with the close quarters of the Spice of Life venue, made for a great night.

I’m looking forward to seeing the band perform live post their next recording session. It would be great to see what they can do producing some songs that demonstrate some of the lighter aspects of the band’s character to balance out the deliciously dark ballads that characterise their early work. Aside from anything else there is just the simple excitement of seeing an already talented band just get better and better. Worth checking out.

This is one of my favourite tracks, not least because it fits my current fiction writing project. The song is called A Brand New Me:


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