Iâ€™m still a buzzinâ€™ 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 brewinâ€™ 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. â€œMore songs, more songs! Please!â€ 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 Iâ€™d have to fly to England again to get my next â€œfix.â€ 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 â€˜nâ€™ 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 â€œDance as if no one is watching.â€ I tried to re-enact the jerking motions of lead singer Alan Donohoe but I didnâ€™t take the professional rock-the-mic-while-jerk-dancinâ€™ class. Heâ€™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 â€œTony the Tigerâ€ 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 Rakesâ€™ short-but-sweet song â€“ as if jolted out of sound sleep and thinking theyâ€™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 flowinâ€™ 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-lovinâ€™ 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 â€œRetreatâ€ and â€œWork Work Work (Pub Club Sleep)â€ 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.