Still a buzzin’

The Rakes-KEXP.jpg
The Rakes at KEXP – 7/14/06, courtesy of DJ Shannon

I’m still a buzzin’ from July 14th. The Rakes made their first (and long-anticipated) appearance in Seattle playing at El Corazon.

Flashback to my first exposure of The Rakes: Brighton , England . Concorde 2 in May 2005. Playing the NME Tour. They were one of the top bands I really wanted to see no matter where they played and I tracked them down. Some would say I stalk bands early in their careers (well, then later as well). Haha! There was a big buzz brewin’ over the London quartet. At the time I was living in England , and went to Brighton to visit my friend Erica, an American and fellow KEXP listener who had recently married a Brit.

I was in awe. It happens sometimes. Very impressive performance and after their set ended I was disappointed the night was over. “More songs, more songs! Please!” I expected good things in the future.

Next gig, they played at Northsix in Brooklyn during CMJ last September. I converted yet a few more people into Rakes fans at this show and wondered if I’d have to fly to England again to get my next “fix.” But that gets a bit expensive.

KEXP was lucky enough to have them perform live at Austin City Limits on our first day of the live broadcasts (Editors and Tapes ‘n’ Tapes rounded off an incredible day). Pretty much a day you can die a happy music lover. But it got better. The week ended with such an energetic performance that I danced harder and crazier than I have in my entire life. No exaggeration here. I exemplified the saying “Dance as if no one is watching.” I tried to re-enact the jerking motions of lead singer Alan Donohoe but I didn’t take the professional rock-the-mic-while-jerk-dancin’ class. He’s by far the expert and makes it look so real and easy.

Finally, the Rakes stopped in Seattle for a proper gig. They had only 3 US cities to go on their tour. Their April tour was cancelled so the wait was over.

They performed in-studio earlier in the day, but recorded a demo of a new song as well as belting out their rendition of the “Tony the Tiger” advert before going live on the air. I was one of the privileged few to witness this G-R-R-R-E-A-T version and will share the experience with future generations. Haha!

They took the stage after Every Move a Picture (a band from San Francisco who also played in-studio on KEXP earlier in the day) finished up a great set. From beginning to end, the all-ages crowd were entranced and danced to every Rakes’ short-but-sweet song – as if jolted out of sound sleep and thinking they’re late for work — or school in this case. Eyes closed, empty fists clenched. No drinks in hand. It was all music. Dancing. Serious business.

The Rakes kept the room flowin’ with dancers. After hitting the snooze button a couple times so the night (dream) would never end, it came to an abrupt halt. We were all invited to chat after the show. The Rakes are a very fun, fan-lovin’ band. We all wanted more but it would have to be in the form of friendly conversation and not another live song. Next time, I predict a bigger venue to accommodate more fans.

I left singing my two theme songs “Retreat” and “Work Work Work (Pub Club Sleep)” but felt solace knowing it was only the beginning of my weekend.

The Rakes returned home and will play some UK (and one French) festivals in August.

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One Comment

  1. Posted July 28, 2006 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I love reading stuff like this! I was at that KEXP broadcast at Austin City Limits, and although it was great, nothing beats them at a regular full-length show. I’ve seen them two more times since then, after becoming a quick fan at that performance. You are so right! Dancing. Dancing. Dancing.

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