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Concert Review: The Rakes

Written by: Carl Johnson, Special to CC2K

ImageStraight out of London, The Rakes brought their in-your-face post-punk style to the tiny Troubadour in West Hollywood on April Fool’s day. The only joke of the night would have been missing this performance. 


It has been over three years since these boys have come over the pond and you could tell the rabid fans were more than ready for a night full of dancing. From their driving bass lines to the witty song writing that only could come from singer Alan Donohoe, this was a show for the fans.

Getting the evening started by opening with songs from the recent release Klang, a normally stiff Los Angeles crowd was already waving their hands in the air and throwing up their fists to every slamming drum beat of “1989”.

Through the whole set it was hard to take your eyes off of Donohoe and hang onto his every word.

“Are you guy’s feeling sexual? Because I am!”

It was this exclamation before the band ripped into “You’re In It” that got the crowd jumping up and down like it was the early 90’s.

Donohoe was not joking when he made this claim.

The next thing you know he was throwing his arms around bassist Jamie Hornsmith and giving him a kiss on the cheek before busting back into his signature dance moves.

I use the terms dance moves lightly because it was more of a drunken robot mixed with arm movements that Madonna used in her “Vogue” video. This is how you need to strike a pose.

He may have not been drunk but judging by the pints in the air as they broke into “1989” everyone else was. And everyone else helped with the “la-la-la-la-la-la’s” in a messy vocal orgy.

Maybe they had pushed the amps too hard with their loud sound, maybe the venue had run out of pints for the band, maybe they were just jetlagged from the long flight, but this show ended way too soon.

A 50 minute set, including the encore, left many still standing around after the house lights had come back on waiting for more. But I guess that is the motto of a great band, always leave the crowd waiting and wanting more.

Hopefully it won’t be another 3 years of waiting before we get the chance to see the quintet again!


Author: Carl Johnson, Special to CC2K

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