The On Offs
Young Knives and The RakesEdit this event
- Rock City, Nottingham »
“If all else fails I am the Prince of Wales!”, something that seems unlikely in the extreme given that Henry Dartnall doesn’t exactly strike me as being accustomed to failure. With a self-titled House Of Lords for a brother – think David Mellor twenty years ago before the over-highlighted syrup and toe-sucking incidents – and a catalogue of songs so good they don’t even play anything from their ‘…Are Dead’ mini-album, the future looks exceptionally rosy for The Young Knives.
The post post-punk movement of last summer may be splitting off and spreading into varying directions now, but as far as The Young Knives are concerned, Wire and the Gang Of Four are where it’s at and staying put for the foreseeable future, which means all and sundry can jerk around the room like constipated robots to their hearts content. And of course we love it, from the incestuous Stranglers-poaching pomp of forthcoming single ‘She’s Attracted To’, with its “You were screaming at your mum while I was punching your dad” hookline set to be this summer’s “Bollocks!” at festivals up and down the land, to the self congratulatory fervour of ‘In The Pink’ and the buoyant finale that was ‘The Decision’. With a nifty line in threads too that’s left Ashby-De-La-Zouch and its country gents naked, expect to see a tweed revival sometime around October. Time to take The Young Knives seriously then – if you can keep a straight face for long enough that is.
For The Rakes it seems an eternity since they last played live, which by their nomadic standards, it probably is. If tonight was meant to celebrate their promotion to rock and roll’s Premier League – twelve months ago they were playing at the Social, which has a capacity almost a tenth of the size of Rock City – then the lack of a queue, and more to the point, ticket touts would have brought them back down to planet reality with a bang. Which is a crying shame because if any band deserves to be playing sold out shows in big venues, The Rakes would be top of anyone’s list on the basis of past live shows alone.
Its just as well then that they’ve left their egos locked away in a glass case somewhere near Brighton, because judging by the hyperactive mannerisms of Alan Donohoe and faster, Faster, FASTER!!! approach of Matt Swinnerton, Lasse Pedersen and Jamie Hornsmith, The Rakes still manage to retain the same levels of urgency, excitement and mayhem as they did all those months ago playing to the (then) uninitiated. Now bolstered to a five piece thanks to the addition of a keyboard player who goes by the name of Ethan, The Rakes have obviously spent the last few months honing their sound for the transition to the bigger stage, even if the rest of the country are still playing catch-up.
While the more obvious material like ’22 Grand Job’ and ‘Strasbourg’ garner the biggest cheer of the night, the audience reaction to the newer songs, most notably ‘The World Was A Mess But His Hair Looked Perfect’, seemed to suggest that their ascendancy to the larger halls won’t be just a passing fad after all.
Let’s just hope there’s a few extra converts next time around.
Photos by Mark Moore
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