Introducing Ruben Neeson: The inner-west cowboy with more character than yesterday’s shirt

In preparation for our 5th Birthday at the King’s Cross Hotel on Friday, it’s time you got well informed on the heart-bleeding alt-country rock prowess of Ruben Neeson.

Having recently persued a solo career among other various indie, grunge, and alt-rock outfits, Neeson has enjoyed a massively successful year of single releases, not to mention a long list of local as well as interstate shows.

“[The year is] not over yet I guess. This compared to Hunch has been completely different.”

For Neeson, it has been a year of unbridled experimentation with new instruments and band arrangements. This has culminated in a mix of recent singles which stand apart as refined compositions in and of themselves, yet each carries the increasingly reputable, signature sound that can only be generated by none other the man himself.

“The band I play with was on pretty high rotation for a while – aside from Harry Fuller – with people moving away/being too busy. It’s been fun playing with a bunch of my favourite musos and the band I’m playing with now are a dream. (Ben James, Caitlin Harnett, Adam Della-Grotta & Harry Fuller).”

Essential to this signature sound is, of course, the pedal steel guitar which sends you into an eternal pastoral twilight. This paired with his favourite op-shop Western shirt (only beneath temperatures of 22 degrees), has crafted a uniquely urbanised country-grunge sound which stands out from the rest.

“I like playing dress-ups sometimes depending on who I’m playing with but 9/10 times I’m wearing the same singlet I wore yesterday. Appearance plays a part in how an audience digests you for sure. If the aesthetic of my sound is a worn-in singlet and jeans then for sure”

An extensive list of big shows and supports this year are proof that Neeson has no intention of holding back.

As Neeson notes, “The last Secret Garden Festival was a lot of fun. Such a fun place with so many friends playing the same stage. The standout [performance this year] might be the Union for King Street Crawl or supporting the Nude Party.”

Despite the noticeable progression of his solo career over the course of this year, Ruben Neeson reckons more could be done, and with a cheeky backlog of freshly recorded songs as well bigger performances yet to come, Neeson has given us plenty to look forward to in the coming months.

“We’ve just finished recording a handful of songs with Lachlan Mitchel. I’m still deciding what to do with them but there will definitely be new music soon. I’ll be playing a couple of launch shows here in Melbourne, and at Tamworth Country Music Festival.” 

Catch Rubeen Neeson ripping it up at 5 x 5 x 5: Happy Mag’s 5th Birthday on Friday, November 22nd at The Kings Cross Hotel. More info here.