The Rakes, The Holloways, We Start Fires, Some Random Guy With A Guitar @ Brixton Academy
31st March 2007

The evenings music lineup started early with the newly dubbed “Some Random Guy With A Guitar” who could not sing or play guitar, god knows how he wangled his way onto the brixton stage. Thankfully “hot” on his “heels” were a girl fronted band called …We Start Fires. Their spiky dance punk sound was upbeat, enthusiastic and full of funky attitude. But they were not the greatest vocally and they didn’t seem to be having much fun, for they were mainly static on stage and lacked the energy to get the crowd going.

we start fires

The Holloways were up next and ’static’ doesn’t even enter into their vocabulary. In fact neither does ‘dress sense’ or ‘bland’ upon sighting the lead singers matching pink outfit topped with bowler hat. Their debut album ‘This is Great Britain’ was arguably one of the best of last years uk indie crop, with a great pop/ska edged rock and roll. Add this to their youthful lust for the stage, clever lyrics and catchy melodies and you have a superb band! This four piece remind me of a young and precocious ordinary boys, bold, brash and brilliant. Their crowning glory and starting point for any new fans is the sublime track “Generator”, with Ska stamped all over it’s quirky simple lyrics are easy to pick up and as the speed picks up so does the life and energy of this evenings crowd.

The Holloways

The Rakes rode the high created by The Holloways as they opened the set with Terror! But soon after this initial flourish of danceable punk, the pace slowed as they played tracks from their latest LP. I’d be lying if i said they were fantastic, with the best of the bunch being ‘We Danced Together‘ a track very close to the original albums dancy ethic. These new album tracks have a very different feel to them and maybe it’s their maturing sound, but it could also just be laziness or complacency. Its a good thing their first album was such a cracker, throwing in classics like the 2 minute furious freakout of 22 Grand Job and Strasbourg kept raising the atmosphere skywards.

The Rakes

Ok, music aside for a moment I cannot let the fact that Alan Donohoe’s dancing technique is about as coordinated as a chimp on speed. Madly throwing arms in each every direction as if he was herding cats, he maintained a smile on everyone’s face throughout. Somehow strangely his technique is mimicked almost perfectly by hundreds of callow club going teenagers every fri night in Romford.

The Rakes

Back to the encore and after welcoming a special guest to rap on Suspicious eyes to good effect. By this point the crowd were itching for the white collar classic (…well i was at least) and they duly delivered. “Work,Work,Work (Pub,Club,Sleep)” sounded great and as fresh as ever with endless energy and working class spirit. Even though the Rakes aren’t probably working class anymore they still pulled of a sterling job of connecting with the people of brixton, albeit being through some comical dancing, but this was a good evenings entertainment of which I thoroughly enjoyed and reveled in.