After live streaming the best local bands, DJs, comedians and more throughout 2020, Lock Down Brum is now finally ‘unlocked’ and hosting an immense show at The Hare & Hounds on the 14th October. The show will be headlined by the wonderful Ruth and the Ark, with support from Layla Tutt and a Slag Mag DJ set. We spoke with the acts ahead of the show to ask them a few questions.
Lock Down Brum was a community aimed to inform, entertain and bring together the people of Birmingham during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, in the post-lockdown world, Unlocked Brum aims to bring live events back to local grassroots venues, kicking things off with the 14th October show.
Headliners Ruth and the Ark channel the early days of soul with a heavy touch of funky blues in a way that’s unforgettable. Boasting an incredible range, frontwoman Ruth Kokumo has been described as “A pocket dynamo with a huge voice” by Counteract, and their sound was considered “timeless” by Birmingham Press.
Ruth started out at another grassroots venue, The Actress & Bishop, performing at open mic nights and has since gone on to host her own monthly show, Ruth Kokumo’s Showcase! “Ruth Kokumo’s Showcase essentially is the final blow out before Monday morning. The Ark & I can really let loose and try out our new material. I get to showcase inspiring local artists and play alongside them.” Kokumo tells us, who goes on to say “We close the show with a jam session where musicians are free to jump on the Ark, create something new and leave with funky basslines stuck in their heads.”
When asked about the influence behind their music Ruth explains “At the moment it’s a mixture of Betty Davis, Black Sabbath, Outkast, Fanny and Eddie Hazel. Although their styles are different, they focus on holding the groove whilst leaving space for that magic. Music is made for dancing, if I can’t shake my ass what’s the point?”
Singer-songwriter Layla Tutt opens the show with a heart-string-plucking and soul-soothing, stripped back performance. Tutt is self-described as “a lover of assonance and dissonance” who is “thrilled by rhythm and rhyme”. Layla claims that her sound is influenced by “the sincerity of George Harrison, the audacious roar of The Clash and the realist lexicon evocative of Neil Young and PJ Harvey” as well as being influenced by Birmingham itself. Layla Tutt will be starting a new show at Brum Radio as well as releasing a single with her band, The Transmission, followed by a debut EP coming out next year.
The two live artists will also be joined by some of the local wordsmiths at Slag Mag who will be joining the lineup for a DJ set chock full of soul, funk, jazz, folk, alternative and more…!
Tickets for the show are flying out and can be found here.