Saturday, 4 Nov 2023 | Ruby Jackson’s Debut EP Launch | The Lady Hampshire, Camperdown
"It's not a stage persona, she's just that chill."
Making a conscious effort to not be a loser and stay home like always after a busy week of work, I made my way to The Lady Hampshire with friends in tow. I’ve been following Ruby Jackson’s releases online (you may remember this bop from New Music Mondays last year) and I was keen to see what a live Ruby Jackson set had in store.
Nothing could have prepared me to be absolutely f***ing blown away. Even if R&B ain’t your thing - I don’t really care because her live set is fantastic. Good tunes✔ Vocal slay✔ Stage presence✔ BVs with gorgeous harmonies✔ Horns✔ Tight band✔ Cool pants✔ - what more could a girl ask for.
The audience was captivated. Lush harmonies, the groove of the band, the horn section and Ruby’s insane vocal runs (swoon). All that aside, Ruby stands centre stage with such cool and ease, you just know this is where she is meant to be.
"It's not a stage persona, she's just that chill", said her best friend and cool pants designer, Mia.
Some artists completely fill the stage on their own but I dare say would shine a little less bright with a top-rate, 10-piece band. Not Ruby. She shined even brighter. Perhaps the physical embodiment of the fire emoji🔥(slay), her burning talent bathed her band in a warm glow - inspired by her songs, voice and good vibes. You could see it on their faces, the band loved every second of playing with her and the energy was infectious.
A few highlights from the night (I could go on and on but I won’t)...
“What You’re Missing” (track 5 of the EP)
What every artist dreams of. I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot because even though Ruby’s EP came out the previous day, the crowd were singing along to every word like their life depended on it. I can’t speak for Ruby, but I think this is a moment that will be seared into her memory (before she probably shoots into stardom or whatever).
“Don’t Lie” (Black Eyed Peas cover)
An iconic cover choice that was so unexpected but honestly, couldn’t be more perfect. I have to admit that I lost my mind a little bit, and a lot of singing and dancing occurred on my part. This song triggered a core memory of when I broke up with my boyfriend and I was moping in the uni library…my friend put his headphones in my ears and said “Listen to this, it’ll make you feel better”. Queue “Don’t Lie”. And I can’t lie, it did make me smile and Ruby’s rendition even more so.
A full set can sometimes feel like a drag if not crafted well. But Ruby just has too many bops for anyone to notice the time fly by. Entranced by the gorgeous arrangements and caught up in the buzz of the mosh and dozen performers, the set sadly came to a close with the disclaimer of, “This is the encore song. I don’t have anymore songs. This is the last song”.
But as you can imagine, the crowd was having none of that. A deafening chant of “ONE MORE SONG” began and Ruby so humbly asked whether it was okay that she play one of her songs again. And somehow the band lifted once again, to play the most electrifying performance of the night.
I can’t help but sing praises (if you haven’t noticed) for Ruby’s music and live show. The songs are interestingly crafted, her voice is tops and her attitude is to be commended - you can see how hard she works, how grateful she is for her band and crowd support, and that she takes it all in stride (pls teach me how not to be stressed all the time).
If anyone is going to ignite your love for live music, it’s gotta be Ruby Jackson.