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Born Ruffians at Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

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Who: Born Ruffians

From: Midland/Toronto, Ontario

Where: Dragon Boat Festival- Mooney’s Bay, Ottawa



[starreviewmulti id=3 tpl=20]


Style: Energetic pop rock, friendly, dance-inciting indie jams.


Crowd: In the midst of an event-filled balmy summer weekend in Ottawa, Born Ruffians threw an intimate beach party on a rainy Saturday evening. Day two of Ottawa’s Dragon Boat Festival was competing for turn out with game five of the Stanley Cup. In addition, an extraordinary attendance for the Sam Roberts Band the day before, as well as a full day of inclement weather, made sure that the only attendees were those infatuated by either the Ruffians’ music or the contents of their parents’ liquor cabinets. The tented audience was lively to say the least, as teens danced on chairs and tweens danced between social circles. The music of Born Ruffians fueled a fun, beachey romp.


Technicalities: Appearing as an intriguing three piece, the Ruffians commented a few times about the missing member on stage, keyboard/guitarist Andy Loyd, however they played as if the skeleton crew was a natural occurrence. The pretty, upbeat guitar tones refracted into the audience like Peter Pan soaring in through Wendy’s bedroom window. Along with the bouncy bass lines, the two stringed instruments hypnotized the crowd with sound waves. The drumbeat was consistent, but otherwise utterly monotonous and unimaginative.


Image/Sex Appeal: Luke Lalonde played guitar and belted out nasally lead vocals, and his persona and stage presence were reminiscent of a lightweight Max Kerman from the Arkells, while bassist Mitch Derosier, jumping around and pointing at his microphone indicating to the sound guy to give him more of his own back up vocals, made me think of a vivacious Jack Black. The silent drummer keeping beat in the background can only be identified with the mediocre drummer from the movie Almost Famous, keeping up but not impressing. All in all I think the most aesthetically attractive thing about the band was the instruments they were wailing on.


Memorable Moment: As the Ruffians finished their set the beachfront crowd erupted in cries for an encore. After a few moments of anticipation the band came back out and played to a crowd that eagerly awaited lyrics they could sing along with and tunes they could gyrate to.


Overall: Born Ruffians played to an intimate group of their most diehard Ottawa fans, and nobody was disappointed. From the very first song the audience was mesmerized by the band’s groovy tunes and only continued to grow more and more involved with the musicians’ set. Halfway through the performance it seemed as though a toddler had found the light switch as the coloured stage lights spastically turned on and off trying to find the rhythm of the music. Once the operator got the hang of it, mellow blues and ambient reds doused the audience in tenor luminescence. Born Ruffians would have to be crazy to not come back at least once more this summer to grace their steadfast fans with a tune or two.


Review by Griffin Elliot


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