Full of pointy shoes and leather jackets
The Rakes

The Brixton Academy is full of blokes with pointy shoes and leather jackets drinking incredibly expensive cheap-lager shouting numbers in German and staring at what looks like a hyper active Marc Almond in a tight white t-shirt.

His band, The Rakes are playing songs about going out, coming back home, waking up next to ugly girls and working at a job in the city for an all right twenty two thousand pounds per annum.

At times it is great fun; how can you not enjoy dancing to a bunch of post-punk pop songs on a Saturday night, but at other times it is just a bit predictable and safe. Touring on the back of a successful first album, 2005’s ‘Capture/Release’ and currently promoting the recently released ‘Ten New Messages’, The Rakes have plenty of songs at their disposable and plenty of fans who know all the words.

They also have, in Alan Donohoe, a frontman who plays to his strengths. “Are you ready for some stupid dancing?!” is the cry and the answer is a resounding “too bloody right we are”. In the next forty-five minutes we are treated, if treated is the right word, to the ‘move your arm right-up, right-down, left-down, left-up’ dance, the ‘pointy fingers’ dance (to match the pointy shoes), the ‘roll your shoulders like a robot from the 80s’ dance and finally the ‘hold one finger in the air, wiggle your legs and twist your shoulders’ jerky dance. And a surprising number of punters were joining in.

Of course it’s not all about the dancing; there was music to listen to as well. Songs like ’22 Grand Job’ and ‘We Are All Animals’ got the greatest reaction from the crowd, but it was the mid set renditions of ‘All Too Human’ and latest single ‘We Danced Together’ that showed the Rakes off at their musical peak, utilising a bass sound of Joy Division proportions. However, I can’t help but think on tonight’s performance The Rakes work better on record where they portray a live sound much greater than that which they actually reproduce on the road. You have to make up your own dance moves with a CD though.

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