The Rubens
Two shows and some hometown hangin' with the lads.
TwentyFour 11m

While The Rubens have been mainstays in Australian rock for several years, their surprise Hottest 100 win earlier this year sent them on an upward trajectory never experienced by the band.

Managing to beat the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Major Lazer for the annual gold medal, the accolade meant that The Rubens – along with their single ‘Hoops’ and accompanying album of the same name – were now directly under international spotlight, and sold out headline tours and festival slots followed. Having played the biggest shows of their lives on the Hold Me Back tour back in June, the band have returned to intimate venues for the Corona SunSets tour.

Spending their formative years tearing away at pubs and clubs, the Corona SunSets tour is a return to The Rubens’ roots – and their catalogue absolutely begs for this sort of sweat-drenched affair. We met up with the lads at their headquarters before two shows – one of which marks their first hometown show in their careers – to see how they fair on the road. See it all below and find their remaining Corona SunSets dates here:

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We take the short drive out to Camden to meet The Rubens, where the suburbs meet the countryside in a splendid collision of greenery. Much to our surprise, The Rubens don’t have a regular rehearsal space and studio: This one’s built inside a bloody ex-world war communications bunker. They’re on some real James Bond shit. P.S. GoldenEye 007 was the GOAT Nintendo 64 videogame and if you disagree, you’re an idiot.

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The lads take a break from all that drum-hitting and guitar-strumming to eat pizza underneath some flowers.

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This rehearsal space/recording studio/bunker thing also has its own regal in-house dog. Does this get any better? Are we in heaven?

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Some OG hippie graffiti on a bus that the boys used to party on during their more rambunctious years.

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Sam staring deep into the souls of the eight pizzas that lie in front of him. Supreme of Hawaiian? Life is full of dilemmas. He also explains how the band used to come to this space to play Xbox and squeeze in some rehearsal in between. Looks like all that Xboxing has definitely paid off!

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Behind-the-scenes of some extremely strong bunker banter between ourselves and The Rubens.

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How about this for an audacious shirt? Will coming through with the kit to rule them all. We’re into it.

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Elliot deep in the midst of rehearsal. Do you own a purple Good Year cap? No? Please show yourself out.

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Drummer Scott holding down the fort with the sticks.

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We link up with the lads once again in Wollongong for another Corona SunSets tour. Sam’s onstage moves are so poetic and smooth that they could double as yoga poses.

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Zac going HAM on the six-stringer with a Thrasher shirt for maximum impact.

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Sam getting up close and personal with the audience for a minute.

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Hands in the air if you love free and live music! Shouts to the lady who colour co-ordinated her dress and bandana!

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After the show, the band are swarmed by fans at the pub’s infamous nacho bar. This time, there not here for the extra guacamole, but hopeful for a flick with The Rubens. Despite just singing and sweating for an hour straight, they’re more than happy to oblige.

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The Rubens posing with some fans and their reasonably priced merchandise line.

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After Wollongong, there’s absolutely no rest – we head back to The Gregory Hills Hotel for the boys’ first hometown show. The Rubens make it very clear that they’re proud of hailing from Menangle – and playing down at their local is a surreal feeling for all involved. Just as we expected, they receive a hometown heroes’ welcome.

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The Rubens’ biggest fan – the mother of the brothers Sam, Zac and Elliot of the band – is in the audience once more. As one of the sole attendees of The Rubens’ first show at Candy’s Apartment (RIP) all those years ago, she must be ultra proud to be standing here today. Go Mum!

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Will has somehow managed to upstage his shirt from before. This one is just crazy. We want to make a documentary about this man’s wardrobe.

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Sam has to excuse himself to the bathroom mid-set, so Elliot gets on the microphone for some impromptu vocals. That purple Good Year hat gives you magical powers.

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View from the rear.

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Crowd surfing across the entire room is a convenient and bad-ass way of transportation.

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After the show, Scott shares some celebratory brews with his Mum and a mysterious floating cap. Two manic shows with The Rubens – can you feel the sweat? Make sure you catch The Rubens’ remaining dates on the Corona SunSets tour.

Words by Christopher Kevin Au November 28, 2016
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