Paul Mattock (pic above in Feb13) is the calm, mild-mannered drummer for the insanity that is Rabo De Toro, he was also the original drummer of the seminal punk band The Ruts.
They formed in August 1977, as Paul explains; ‘Punk happened. Malcolm [Owen] really got into it and started writing punk songs with Paul Fox. It started out as a bit of a laugh. Dave Ruffy fancied himself as a bass player and I played the drums. We got some cheap studio time and went in and recorded some of the songs, Lobotomy, H Eyes and In A Rut (listen here). As soon as we played In A Rut, we knew it could be a hit. It was from this track that we got the name The Ruts.
They became highly regarded as one of the best punk bands of the second wave on account of them coming to prominence in 1979-80. Their classic singles In A Rut, Babylon’s Burning, Something That I Said, Jah War and Staring At The Rude Boys all displayed an edge that was a cut above many of their contemporaries.
If you add their outstanding album ‘The Crack’ (released Sep79) to your record collection then you’ve enhanced your musical prowess ten-fold… It is that good.
It all sadly came to an abrupt end when singer Malcolm Owen was found dead in the bathroom of his parents’ house in Hayes, from a heroin overdose on 14 July 1980 at the age of 26. The band continued as Ruts DC until 1983, in a heavy dub direction. They reformed in 2007, performing new material (as well as old) closer to the bite of the classic stuff. Make sure you catch their excellent live shows.
Before the punk explosion however, this group of people were an out and out heavy rock ‘n’ roll band called Aslan, whose root lies in Anglesey North Wales. They did mainly self-penned stuff from the bass player Dennis Laing and Paul Fox. Although Paul Mattock did some drumming in the band, the main drummer was a guy called Laurie Jellyman (who went on to do a lot of top session work in London) with Malcolm Owen playing a little rhythm guitar.
Paul says; ‘We were all hippies doing what hippies do. We put on our own gigs usually at the Beach Hotel in Trearddur Bay (now a block of flats). How we got here was that some friends of mine, including Malcolm, had done a road trip across India at the start of the 1970’s and when they got back to London decided to move to the country and live the hippy dream.
‘They ended up on Anglesey, not realising that it was an island until they got to Holyhead, decided to stay and I joined them a year later, which was the beginning of my love affair with Anglesey, and North Wales.’
Paul has unearthed some never seen before photos of the band and has kindly shared them with us…
‘Paul Fox and Malcolm Owen, were part of the Anglesey rock band called Aslan. These photos were taken at a rehearsal in the loft of a barn that a local farmer let us use. Often in the winter the farmer would keep his cows in the barn and we’d have to negotiate through them with all our gear to get up into the loft – 1974 I think. The girl in the picture was Malcolm’s girlfriend Rocky. I never could find out what happened to her. Went to live in Ibiza so I heard.’
[pic above] Paul Fox on guitar and Laurie Jellyman on drums.
[pic above} Jock and Paul Fox
[pic above] Jock on guitar. Laurie Jellyman on drums. Paul Mattock sat in the corner.
[pic above] Laurie Jellyman on drums. Paul Mattock in corner. Rocky (Malcolm’s girlfriend). Malcolm Owen on guitar.
Paul says, ‘I use to share the drumming with Laurie, but he was an exceptional drummer. Apart from Rocky, I’m the only one in these pictures who is still alive… Now there’s food for thought!’
Check out Rabo De Toro on Bandcamp