The Rakes – Melkweg, Amsterdam 18 May 2009

The Rakes – Melkweg, Amsterdam 18 May 2009


force to be reckoned with:
Fig. someone or something that is important and powerful and must not be ignored.


Hyperbole. Exaggeration. We’re all prone to it. We’re often keen to say that something was “The best ever” or “the most intense” or “the most beautiful” or, well, you’ll have your own pet phrases to call upon I’m sure. Music journalists are probably the worst offenders. We exaggerate almost everything we say in the hope that it illustrates our point ever so slightly but there are times when you use a phrase and you don’t really mean to exaggerate. You just believe it to be true. You know it fits.


The Rakes. A force to be reckoned with.


It’s the kind of thing that just makes sense. Why? Because they make you feel so alive. Just ask any of the sweating, red faced teenagers who left the Melkweg with smiles on their faces singing “The world was a mess but his hair was perfect” and looking like they felt exactly the opposite. The Rakes know how to give you a good time.


They’re fast, that’s one thing. Lasse and Jamie keep the momentum of the gig moving along like an ICE train in a hurry, which makes things feel reckless and somewhat out of control. But then over the top of that you get these ultra crisp, sharp and clean guitar lines from Matthew to keep you on track. Their sound is relentless, but utterly compelling and invigorating. The addition of an extra Rake on guitars or keys, where necessary, helps add some more texture to their sound but overall it’s the same passion and energy that we fell in love with 5 year ago that still drives them.


As the night skipped from You’re In It, to 22 Grand Job, through to an outstanding We Dance Together and a totally unhinged Strasbourg, we were bombarded with hit after hit. Each song sounding better and more invigorated than the last but, aside from the astonishing The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect, – which proved beyond that doubt that anybody who wrote off Ten New Messages is a complete moron – it was the new stuff that really shone. The Light From Your Mac, That’s The Reason, The Loneliness Of The Outdoor Smoker. Classics all. And as for The Woes Of  The Working Women, well it was everything I dreamed it would be and more.


The Rakes seem to be getting better with each passing year, which is a scary thought, because they’re a formidable force as it is. A force to be reckoned with. They certainly feel important., they’re definitely powerful and you’d be a fool to ignore them. They are, to put it simply, everything you want in a band.


Words: Damian Leslie