There's some confusion over how The Rakes actually came to being. Ask them and they'll talk of a show of solidarity outside a local Weatherspoons, or of fights in the library over who was going to borrow some novel or other. Whatever, it's unlikely that the story will ever become clear. What is becoming clear, however, is the fact that The Rakes are emerging as one of the most significant London bands to emerge in recent years.
The last twelve months have been a blur of incendiary live shows, excited appraisals. There's no sign of things letting up either; the forthcoming 'Retreat' draws from a sophisticated musical palette. And while 2005 is seeing their already punishing schedule get even tougher, the strength of character within the band is such that The Rakes just seem to take things resolutely in their stride. There's Alan Donohoe: a singer and vivacious reader who draws lyrical inspiration from the most unlikely of places. Guitarist Matthew Swinnerton, whom producer du jour Paul Epworth has called 'a genius - so effortlessly doing all the things Bruce Gilbert was doing all those years ago in Wire, but with a modern slant.' And then there's calm, collected bassist Jamie Hornsmith and maniac drummer Lasse Petersen, whose increasingly notorious on the road antics were recently described by one writer as 'unprintable'.
In fact, with such a disparate mish-mash of strong personalities, but while they may be endlessly entertaining as people, they could not be anymore serious as a musical proposition. Their chaotic performances continue to dazzle, while their forthcoming, Epworthproduced debut album will highlight the lyrical and musical eloquence of which most other hyped London bands are bereft, but which The Rakes unquestionably have. Truly, their story has only just begun.