Revitalised punk legends Ruts DC have announced a tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their iconic debut album.
Released in September 1979, when they were known by their original name, The Ruts, the West London band's one and only studio album, The Crack, is an acknowledged punk classic.
The energy and attitude of punk's first wave was starting to dissipate, but an excellent run of singles – Babylon’s Burning, Something That I Said and Jah War – made it one of the best albums to emerge as the decade drew to a close.
Sadly, The Ruts' impressive momentum came to a juddering halt when singer Malcolm Owen died from a heroin overdose in July 1980, aged just 26.
A cobbled-together follow-up album, Grin & Bear It, was released a few months later, and the band soldiered on for a while after a name-change to Ruts DC, but split up in 1983.
In July 2007 the surviving members reunited for one last time to play a benefit gig for guitarist Paul Fox, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He lost his fight three months later.
Bassist 'Segs' Jennings and drummer Dave Ruffy, returned to the studio the following year to record a follow-up to their 1982 dub album Rhythm Collision, with the help of guitarist Leigh Heggarty.
The trio quickly gelled, and after some well-received live dates - including fine performances at Blackpool's Rebellion Festival - the band were so energised they started work on the first new Ruts DC songs since the early '80s.
The result was the excellent 2016 album Music Must Destroy, which was voted album of the year by many critics, including Vive Le Rock magazine.
This year has seen Ruts DC tour with Stiff Little Fingers, and 2019 will see them embark on a headline tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Crack by playing it in its entirety for the first time.
The 17-date tour includes a date at the Riverside in Newcastle on Thursday, 21 February, and tickets go on sale tomorrow.
“It’s always been important to us to be a current and forward-thinking band, releasing and playing new material whilst being proud of our past,” says Jennings.
“A milestone to many, The Crack is an important piece of work to us too. We now feel ready to celebrate where we came from.”
Ruffy adds: “The Ruts were a band that were greater than the sum of their parts and wrote music inspired by everything we had ever heard. It’s a piece of work that I am immensely proud to have been a part of.
"Forty years on we will be playing the album in its entirety - quite a challenge as some of the songs have not been played since 1980!"
Support on all dates will come from another recently reunited band, The Professionals, who were formed in 1979 by Paul Cook and Steve Jones after the break-up of the Sex Pistols.
They lasted just three years, but reformed in October 2015 (minus Jones and with the addition of Tom Spencer) for a critically acclaimed, sold-out show at the iconic 100 Club in London.
Last year, the latest line-up of the band, featuring Cook, Spencer and guitarist Paul Myers, released What In The World, the first new material by The Professionals in 35 years.