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Inspiration behind Kaiser Chiefs’ ‘Ruby’ revealed

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Former Kaiser Chiefs drummer and songwriter Nick Hodgson has revealed the original inspiration behind the band’s hit song ‘Ruby’.

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The Leeds group released ‘Ruby’, the lead single from their second album ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’, in 2007 which went on to become their first UK Number One.

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In a new video feature posted by The Other Songs where Hodgson retold the story for a live audience, he recalled playing a verse on the keyboard when someone called Ruby walked in, prompting him to sing the track’s famous hook, “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby…“.

“At the time we didn’t say who Ruby was,” he shared. “But I can tell you now that Ruby was a dog.”

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Hodgson also elaborated on the meaning behind ‘Ruby’ in a TikTok last year in which he sang a stripped back version of ‘Ruby’ and played the piano.

A text box flashed onto the screen, which read, “Ruby was our family dog”, alongside a picture of a black labrador, adding: “When I was writing it Ruby (the dog) walked in and I sang…”

He then played the chorus and concluded with the text: “I’m very glad she did.”

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The song naturally sounds like it is about a woman, opening with vocalist Ricky Wilson singing, “Let it never be said that romance is dead/ ‘Cause there’s so little else occupying my head,” before he asks Ruby in the chorus: “Do ya, do ya, do ya, do ya (ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)/ Know what you’re doing, doing to me?


This is the piano that i started writing Ruby on. Look out for the original Ruby. Ricky went onto write the verse lyrics. #indie #alt #alttiktok #altmusic #indietiktok #noughtiesmusic #kaiserchiefs #songwriter #songwriterstories #piano #songwriting

♬ original sound – Nick J.D. Hodgson

Hodgson was the Kasier Chiefs’ primary songwriter before his exit in 2012 after 15 years. He explained his departure by saying that he had always planned to leave by the time he was 35.

He told NME at the time that the split was amicable, sharing: “I’d said a year ago that this was what I wanted to do, and that was it really. No-one was surprised, we’d talked about it for a year and everyone was happy. I feel good and I’d like to think they do to.”

Hodgson also claimed that he wanted to spend more time in the studio as a producer and songwriter.

He returned as a solo artist in 2018 with his album ‘Tell Your Friends’. In an interview with NME ahead of its release he shared that he still sees the band but admitted that it was a “very strange feeling” to listen to their new music. “I can’t listen to it impartially. I can’t really work out my feelings towards it,” he said.

As for his solo debut, Hodgson said that it didn’t share any common ground with Kaiser Chiefs, instead insisting that it was “just pure me”.

Last month Kaiser Chiefs announced a 2024 UK headline tour. You can find any remaining tickets here and check out the full schedule below.

Kaiser Chiefs’ 2024 UK tour dates are:

11 – International Riviera Centre, Torquay 
12 – Winter Gardens, Eastbourne 
13 – Dreamland, Margate
16 – Globe, Stockton 
17 – Civic, Wolverhampton 
19 – Empress Ballroom, Blackpool 
20 – Troxy, London 
21 – Flippers Roller Boogie Palace, London

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NME Original Article

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