End of the Road for Malc Eyers as Rufus Stone frontman
IT was a fitting finale for a local legend.
After more than three decades as the lead singer of Southampton soul outfit Rufus Stone, Malc Eyers hung up his microphone with a final gig at The Brook on New Year’s Eve.
The special send-off saw the acclaimed eight-piece soul band perform a two-hour set of classic soul music with selections from The Blues Brothers, The Commitments, Otis Redding, James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Joe Tex.
One of Southampton’s longest serving and most popular bands, Rufus Stone have been performing constantly since their formation in 1984.
On their list of credits are performances and tours with some true legends of pop music Edwin Starr, Curtis Mayfield, Ben E King, Geno Washington, Jimmy Ruffin and Gloria Gaynor.
In the early days, the eight-piece soul and funk outfit were regulars at The Joiners in St Mary’s, but their audiences soon outgrew the intimate venue and they have taken to The Brook stage on dozens of different occasions since.
Malc, who performed an impressive solo set warming up for his old school friend Mike Osman during his Trumped show at Mayflower Theatre recently, has been almost ever present for Rufus Stone.
He took a short hiatus to recover from a major heart operation and has since performed a number of fundraising gigs for Wessex Heartbeat.
Also the frontman of Strapped For Cash, the band formed with Hampshire Cricket chairman Rod Bransgrove, Malc will continue to perform and make music, but will spend more time at his home in Florida.
He said: “I’ve got mixed emotions. It’s been 34 years of my life. There have been some great adventures, some amazing gigs and I’ve met a few legends along the way, as well as playing with some amazing musicians over that time.”
Rufus Stone have performed at venues from the Royal Albert Hall to city theatres, cruise ships and open air events such as the Round the World Yacht Race and Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Vocalist Malc Eyers is one of the original members of the band. He has always had a passion for music and until he joined Rufus Stone in 1984 he could be spotted singing in small pubs and clubs in and around his native Southampton. But it was meeting up with Rufus Stone founder member and former Lulu drummer Henry Wright that really kick-started Malc’s real passion for soul, rhythm and blues.