Presenting The Ruby Darlings

Let me set the scene. Make-up artists generously daub cheeks, flashgun wielding photographers scamper over articles of furniture, a clustered eight-piece band by the name of Kushti run through some honky-tonk numbers, the ornate stained glass ceiling throws an irregular colouration upon the Great Northern Railway Tavern as the audience descend with an assortment of makeshift seats. And yet amidst all the commotion neither Lily Phillips nor Rachel Le Moeligou appear all that ruffled as they emerge from behind a thatched screen onto tonight’s stage – a cabaret boudoir strewn with lampshades and emptied wine bottles.

FAULT Magazine is proud to introduce… The Ruby Darlings

The Ruby Darlings (b&w)

FAULT: How long have you been The Ruby Darlings and could you recall the moment of conception?
D: It was November. I was working at a burlesque club as a resident dancer.
R: I was teaching little children. Two ends of the spectrum.
D: One of the producers enquired whether I could perform a cabaret act, to which I agreed in spite of a nonexistent repertoire. So I approached Rachel to make one up…
R: Out of nowhere! The hardest part was finding a suitable stage name. Having toyed around with variants on “sisters” or “gals”…
D: [interjects] glad we didn’t go there
R: The Ruby Darlings eventually materialized… only for us to belatedly discover that there was already a Ruby Darling burlesque act. Just infuriating.
D: I think we should kill her.

FAULT: What would be your weapon on choice?
R: Our potent powers of femininity.
D: Or our diabolical high heels – that would work quite well.
R: Perhaps we could strange her with a feather boa or suffocate her with corsets?
D: How about drowning her in our signature rosé?

FAULT: Have either of you ever come up with some material only for it to be flatly vetoed by the other?
R: Darling usually cooks up the inappropriate ideas. I respond with a laugh and a resolute “no that’s too far”. Eventually the smut is used anyhow. It goes further each time…
D: Our pianist [David Tims] is obscene. If you leave the two of us together darkness will ensue in ways it ought not…
R: I’m there to rein it in. Parental guidance to stop the chaos.
D: Most necessary.

Ruby Darlings Rehearse

FAULT: Any anecdote-worthy hecklers, post-show propositioners, or shady stalkers?
R: A few suspicious lingerers occasionally hang around after the shows.
D: I think we should have a stalker, every great group should. We could get married and run away together.

FAULT: Have you acquired any particularly loathsome nicknames?
D: Lilco.
R: Twiggy, Twinkle Tits, Mowgli.

FAULT: How about any feedback from former partners liable to take issue with some particulars that you might have divulged?
D: A distant ex actually came to our debut show. There’s one point during the performance where I say, “as a matter of fact, I’ve been intimate with someone in this audience”, whilst he’s standing at the back thinking “oh my god…”
R: [laughs] freaking out!
D: Actually the subject didn’t come up afterwards…

FAULT: That sounds more like deep-seated animosity…
D: He just went home and wrote about it in a book, crying in his underpants over a burnt photograph.

The Ruby Darlings (1)

FAULT: You recently performed a show at the mysterious Baby Elephant Festival. How did you find your way there and once there what did you find?
R: We got very lost.
D: We came separately in identical Fords, led astray by deceptive satnavs.
R: Moments after I was shooed onstage in black regalia and sweltering heat to raise money for baby elephants.

FAULT: Would you rather perform a show in a penitentiary, to troops in the middle east, or as a support slot for Metallica?
R: It would be too predictable for us to play for soldiers.
D: Maybe we’d educate them?
R: I don’t know if they’re ready for us.
D: Metallica fans might be more responsive. There’d be groupies waiting outside to get us to sign various parts of their tattooed bodies.

Ruby Darlings Performance

FAULT: What is the single sexiest cinematic moment?
D: That scene in The Mask where Cameron Diaz performs ‘Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good To You’ to the cigar-smoking wolf-whistlers at the Coco Bongo Club.

FAULT: Presuming they were each in their prime, would you rather be wined and dined by Kennedy, Clinton or Obama?
D: not Clinton. That one is off the list.
R: That’s a really hard question.
D: I’d say JFK. Ruby can have Barack.

FAULT: Supposing The Ruby Darlings could be transported in a time capsule to grace one of Europe’s heyday cabaret stages would it more likely be 19th century belle époque Paris or 1920s Weimer Berlin?
R: You know how much I love the Parisian looseness…
D: In spite of this hypothetical scenario, I must admit I think that we’re needed in the present. It’s very important.

The saucy pandemonium that is Fever! will be running throughout the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at City Nightclub from August 4th-23rd

Photography by Jacob Perlmutter & Joe Traylen