Quar­tet ready for next stage

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

THE sense of oc­ca­sion was not lost on The Rubens. They had just ar­rived back in Aus­tralia af­ter be­ing given a mi­cro­scopic ex­am­i­na­tion by Euro­pean au­di­ences, fol­lowed by US tastemak­ers at the an­nual mu­sic meat mar­ket South By South­west and at their own sold-out shows in New York.

Broth­ers Sam, Zaac and El­liott Mar­gin and mate Scott Bald­win were the open­ing act at Bruce Spring­steen and The E Street Band’s fi­nal Aus­tralian shows at Hang­ing Rock.

Play­ing for 17,000 hard­core Spring­steen fans, The Rubens rose to fill the truly mam­moth stage and de­liv­ered an im­pres­sive set, un­daunted yet suit­ably hum­ble about warm­ing the stage for Jimmy Barnes and then Spring­steen.

Ten days later, front­man Sam con­fesses he was as much in awe of The Boss’s pres­ence as the crowd.

‘‘I didn’t feel like I needed to meet him be­cause it all felt so per­sonal. You see him walk past you with this huge grin on his face,’’ he says.

Since The Rubens smashed it out of the al­ter­na­tive rock ball­park with their de­but sin­gle Lay It Down in 2011, fol­low­ing up with the even more bril­liant My Gun and their self-ti­tled first al­bum, The Rubens have been one of the bands to namecheck in Aus­tralia – and now in­ter­na­tion­ally, with re­lease deals done and north­ern hemi­sphere sum­mer fes­ti­val dates.

Sam and his band­mates re­main in awe of the cir­cum­stances which put them on th­ese big stages in front of a sea of peo­ple.

‘‘At a show like (Spring­steen) or a fes­ti­val, where there’s a sea of peo­ple, it’s over­whelm­ing,’’ he says.

‘‘I can’t help but smile for a lit­tle bit when I walk on stage and think, ‘oh’. It hap­pened at Splen­dour and Laneway, too.’’

The Rubens don’t think too much about why they are sell­ing out gigs and tour­ing over­seas in sup­port of the record’s re­lease in the US mid-year. They are sim­ply grate­ful for all the op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The quar­tet from Me­na­gle, in Syd­ney’s out­er­west­ern sub­urbs, seem in­tent to en­joy the ride while work­ing up new songs, de­ter­mined to stay creative while still pro­mot­ing their de­but record.

Sam cred­its Triple J’s sup­port for Lay It Down right off the bat for tak­ing their mu­sic to the masses and ce­ment­ing the loy­alty of their early adopter fans. Very good shows have helped spread the word. ‘‘I do think we have got good songs and I think we can write bet­ter songs. We are writ­ing right now. We have lots of ideas and a few songs com­plete,’’ he says.

‘‘I lit­er­ally lock my­self away for a week; it’s not hard as long as you are in the mind­set.’’


The Rubens, Oh Mercy, Walk the Moon and MT Warn­ing play the Coolan­gatta Ho­tel tonight. The Rubens also play Splen­dour in the Grass, from July 26-28.

The Rubens (from left): Sam Mar­gin, Scott Bald­win, Zaac Mar­gin and El­liott Mar­gin are ready to tuck into the US.

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