You need to be made of stone to brave the open road as a touring musician. One not so precious stone is ruby. Scottish singer-songwriter Lesley Rankine is ruby.
After beginning her career as the lead singer/provocateur of seminal UK noise-band Silverfish, where she coined the now infamous slrubogan - “Hips Tits Lips Power” and making her mark as an early member of Pigface, the loose knit industrial noise super-group with Trent Reznor, Skinny Puppy’s Ohgr, Paul Raven of Killing Joke, and Martin Atkins of PiL, Rankine created her solo project, ruby and released material via labels such as Creation, Witchita, and Sony.
Known for not only mixing up genres, The LA Times made this observation during a live performance;"Lesley Rankine put a twist on the in-your-face cliches of contemporary rock: Fronting her band, ruby, she seemed to want us to be in her face. When not lilting out lines detailing hard lessons of sexual politics--damaged but wiser--the Scottish singer stood unblinkingly with mouth agape, twitching her head or unconsciously wagging her tongue, practically demanding to be seen and heard. And it worked."
With a personal inviation from Martin Atikins to open for Pigface's 25 year anniversary gala, a one time performance at House of Blues in Chicago this Black Friday and equipped with a new EP in hand, Rankine is becoming reaquainted with US shores and taking her one woman show on the road.
Live, the ruby sound is produced using a plethora of electronic instruments, with cigar-box guitar, FX boxes and home-made, circuit-bending gadgets. Something akin to spending the evening in a 21st century version of Caractacus Pott’s shed, the tone of the show lilts and staggers between raucous noise-mongering and emotive, delicate melody, usually punctuated with warts-n’-all dialog and stories from Rankine with her off-piste, strictly adult humour and of course all snarls, glares and Quasimodo grimaces.
ruby’s first release was the acclaimed electronic-downtempo-trip hop album "Salt Peter", a classic of the mid '90's alternative & dance music scenes. The album was recorded entirely digitally - a method that was still very innovative at that time. "Salt Peter" & the follow-up "Short-Staffed at the Gene Pool" were remixed by the likes of Primal Scream, Gilles Peterson, Danny Saber, the Mekons, Mira Calix, Conor Oberst. While ruby continued to tour through the early 2000s, her next official release didn't come until a decade later.
In 2013 Lesley made a long-awaited return from self-imposed hibernation with her first new music in over a decade. The sparse, melancholic and hypnotic first salvo from her new collection was the title track “Waiting For Light”, which showcased Rankine’s dark, soft and emotive vocals. The full album of the same name followed in 2014, independently released, and partly funded by a very successful Pledgemusic campaign. The critical acclaim that resulted was definitive proof of ruby's return.
ruby is playing live at intimate venues this November and December.
ruby TOUR DATES
11/25 | Chicago, IL - House of Blues (PIGFACE 25 Year Anniversary)
11/26 | Seattle, WA - Barboza
11/29 | Portland, OR - Love Craft
12/1 | San Francisco, CA - DNA Lounge
12/2 | Los Angeles, CA - LA Cita
12/5 | Dallas, TX - 3 Links
12/6 | Austin, TX - Elysium
12/9 | New Orleans, LA - Bar Redux
12/14 | Pittsburgh, PA - Howlers
12/17 | New York, NY - Delancey Lounge
12/20 | Boston, MA - Middle East (upstairs)
12/21 | Toronto, ON - Dance Cave