Kicking off proceedings were Lorca - no, I'd never heard of them either. Their MySpace claims they are "A screaming riot of killer tunes, twisted guitars and pulsating bass with dirty synths and disco-punk beats stolen from the gutter provinces." More importantly, they have Peaches AND Pixie Geldof in their top 8. A bit of a third rate Kasabian though and there was too much reliance on programmed beats. I've listened to their demo since then and it's nothing special really.
Next up were The Heavy. I'm not sure their bandname is appropriate. None of their songs seemed particularly 'heavy' and erred more on the side of R'n'B than anything exciting sadly. Although at times the beats were at least nodworthy, the falsetto vocals of the lead singer didn't compliment the music and the three backing vocalists were largely redundant. A rework of The Kinks classic All Day And All Of The Night was possibly the only highlight of a pretty bland set.
The Rakes finally took to the stage and we were treated to Alan Donohoe's usual onstage exuberance and their repertoire of perceptive yet danceable post punk songs.
Although I find it's always a pleasure to witness The Rakes rousing live performances, a surprising amount of the audience seemed indifferent to them. All the usual hits were played but perhaps the crowd were unfamiliar with the likes of Ausland Mission (an early b-side) and Perfect (a shortened version of the 18 minute song recorded for the Dior Homme catwalk show a while back). Two new songs, possibly previewing the new album were also played early on - I'm On A Mission and Down With The Moonlight.
They have toured with Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand and The Buzzcocks in the past and Paul Epworth produced debut album Capture/Release was one of my favourite albums of 2005. Further success surely beckons.
"The Rakes may belong to a time where the chav pub is king in 1000 towns, but they flood their songs with romance, intelligence and historical intrigue without breaking a sweat." Dailyinfo.co.ukThe Rakes - Ausland Mission
The Rakes - 22 Grand Job (Demo)
The Rakes - Retreat
Buy Capture/Release for less than a fiver(!) at HMV.
Photo courtesy of Gregory Nolan.