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“Thank you Brooklyn, thank you Brooklyn,” repeats The Rakes’ enigmatic singer Alan Donohoe at various points throughout the show.  It seems he and the band were jazzed about playing in a place other than New York City tonight.  The Rakes may have even had time to take in a few Park Slope sights before soundcheck, since Dohohoe made a sweet joke about Brooklyn audiences perhaps being a bit more clever than those in Manhattan.  Why?  Because he found so many more bookstores here.

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Take away the moody cloak that enveloped Ian Curtis, teleport him to East London circa 2009, slap some bleach dye on his fringe and you’ll find Alan Donohoe, The Rakes’ frenzied, amazingly angular frontman.  It [finally] dawned on me that Donohoe might be taking inspiration from Curtis, with his fits of shape-throwing intensity that can ignite a crowd to mimic and go mad, backed by the military-esque, post-punk drumbeat that has become The Rakes’ marching song.

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Tonight, Union Hall’s intimate, old world Brooklyn setting proved a fine backdrop for The Rakes’ smart stories of life in London, drunken East End meanderings and quizzical romantic interludes, (and how apropos to have this bookish band play just downstairs from a cozy library and bocce ball court).

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A healthy mix of old and new tracks brought The Rakes’ new album, Klang, to life, and in turn, the Union Hallers responded well to promising new songs.  Donohoe danced in and around the crowd, hamming it up with amazing ode to Berlin, “1989″, as well as “The Light From Your Mac” and “The Loneliness of the Outdoor Smoker”.  Fan favorites from the band’s first two releases, Capture/Release and Ten New Messages, like the pithy “22 Grand Job”, “Retreat”, punk anthem “Violent” and brilliant set closer “Strasbourg”, nearly shook the diaramas and antique paintings off the walls of the panelled room.  A mini mosh pit ensued and the evening ended on a high note when lanky drummer Lasse Petersen jumped into the audience for a bit of impromptu crowd surfing.–Andrea D’Alessandro and MVW/photos by Andrea D’Alessandro

 
  1. [...] weeks of work.  I sat down with The Rakes’ bassist Jamie and drummer Lasse Petersen during their recent jaunt to the States to welcome them back to New York City and chat with them about their time as a band and of course, [...]

  2. [...] weeks of work.  I sat down with The Rakes’ bassist Jamie and drummer Lasse Petersen during their recent jaunt to the States to welcome them back to New York City and chat with them about their time as a band and of course, [...]

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