Three brothers and two friends make up The Rubens, a popular Australian band that arrived in the UK with an outstanding gig at the Boston Dome in Tufnell Park. Formed in 2011, their debut album reached No 3 in the Australian charts and their second album, Hoops, is only going to build their fan base. Producer Eric J, famous for his work with Weezer and The Chemical Brothers, knows how to make a record and The Rubens know how to work an audience.
Lead singer, Sam Margin, struts onto stage with a patterned shirt; passionate, powerful and an immediate presence. Margin exudes charisma and leads this five-piece band with a bold, confident swagger. He sings, with pint in hand and reaching out to his sold out audience. The Rubens riffs connects with music we’ve heard from The Killers and Kings of Leon, but they hint at something meaner and ultimately more fun. Margin may be an imitator in his stage demeanour, but it works. Fans cheer, chant and dance in the crowd. With his deeper voice he plays it safe, but as he reaches those higher notes it switches. Stand out tracks, such as Hallelujah are successful as they exploit this skill of the front man. Their hit, Hoops, seems to hold a Fun Lovin’ Criminals tone without losing his strong vocals. My Gun begins in church-like fashion as an organ leads into this towering tune, as everyone calls out the title.
Cheekily, he hands twenty quid to an audience member to buy a few pints. His long hair, with a fringe falling on his face, again, isn’t anything new. But none of this matters as The Rubens are an exciting band, and they’re accomplished. With songs like Hallelujah carrying the momentum of an American anthem like My Sharona, I can imagine that with a strong back catalogue such as this, they’ll surely gather momentum on these shores too.
This was originally published for Culturefly.co.uk in May 2016