The Rakes

Decades: 1990s 2000s


One of a number of UK art-rock bands to emerge in the early 00s in the wake of the success of the Libertines, the Rakes formed in 2002 when workmates Matt Swinnerton (guitar), Jamie Hornsmith (bass) and Lasse Petersen (Denmark; drums) teamed up with Swinnerton’s friend Alan Donohoe (vocals) to start a band. Based in London, the quartet made an immediate impact on the city’s live circuit with a string of fiery shows marked out by drummer Petersen’s alcohol-driven antics and Donohue’s jerky dancing. Championed by fellow London scenesters Art Brut, the band made their recording debut in May 2004 with the limited edition 7-inch single ‘22 Grand Job’ (on Trash Aesthetics). The choppy guitar work, basic rhythm section and lazy vocals led many critics to compare the Rakes to American compatriots the Strokes. The follow-ups ‘Strasbourg’ (on City Rockers) and ‘Retreat’ (on Moshi Moshi) earned the Rakes further plaudits, and...

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