The RakesEdit this event
During recent months, something has been making the wings of Blighty - that’s ‘England’ during wars - begin to flutter. However, after this gig it’s clear that what was once a mere ruffling of the feathers has now buzzed into a fully formed swoop. Tonight, we land - somewhat secretly - in Hammersmith.
Working Mens Clubs are of course, a British institution. But the relative consensus seems to be that their numbers are severely dwindling (particularly in the south). However, with a band such as Sunderland’s The Futureheads motoring up and down the down the country, playing nothing but W.M.C's, the heritage of dirt cheap bitter and orange plastic chairs is still being celebrated – albeit in an ‘Album Tour’ sort of way.
First to take the stage in front of the saturated - it’s hotter than the sun in here - gold curtain are London’s finest, The Rakes. Since DiS last saw this band, it seems they have played in the capital everyday for the last month, whilst also taking time to pop up to Leeds for their first gig outside of London. Tonight, with one new haricut, a new guitar and a few expected sound problems – the PA’s on its last legs – the band play a brilliantly vibrant set. The bass and drums are stuck together in a thudding trance, the guitar crackles over the top and the vocals ooze anxiety and shock. Crowd favourites ‘Violence’ and new single ‘Strasbourg’ are highlights of their short performance, and we are graced with two new songs; both driven by Matthew’s treble-boosted guitar licks and coloured by frontman Alan’s spasmodic fitting. Despite the loss of sound on a few occasions, it’s mission accomplished for The Rakes.
Watching The Futureheads is like watching an electric shock. This band function within a cataclysmic bubble of poignant lyrical jests and split harmonic jerking – unsurprisingly, it makes for a fucking exciting spectacle. The songs – all but one taken from their excellent debut LP – are feisty and immediate. Guitarist Barry Hyde’s possessed shuddering is dynamically balanced by his soft spoken banter. Middle man Ross Millard displays a relatively calm exterior, although his guitar work is still as punchy as it should be, and David ‘Jaff’ Craig and Dave Hyde counter the defiant telecaster parts with strident bass lines and ever-changing drum cycles. The set falls off somewhere in the middle – again minor sound difficulties the source of the problem – but it is a triumph nonetheless and when the plug is pulled on the band at the end, we’re left wanting more. 2004 or Gang of Four – whichever way you look at The Futureheads, the excitement they create on stage is fresh and vitally important. Good Morning Britain.
Photos: Tori Handsley (email@example.com)
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