Rakes singer Alan Donohoe arrived at Leeds this morning under the weather and without voice! Fortunately, he had some celebrity friends on-hand to fill in and ensure that the show went on!
Matthew Swinnerton, The Rakes’ guitarist, had filled in for much of the set, before inviting out some special guests. First was Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack, who played on ‘Terror!’. Then, on the next song ‘Strasbourg’, he was joined by his bandmate, singer Kele Okereke. Towers Of London singer Donny Tourette also subsequently ran on to duet with Kele on final number, ’22 Grand Job’.
Swinnerton told the NME backstage: “I was absolutely terrified, I really was. When you have a band like ours with four people who each contribute so much, you feel very naked. But Reading and Leeds was a good opportunity to play to people and Alan was like ‘Yeah, give it a go’. Then we asked Kele and Russell to come on board and they said yes too.
“There was a lot of people out there, even more than when we played the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury. There were some real butterflies. But because me and Alan wrote a lot of the songs together, I didn’t feel that I didn’t know the songs. But someone like Alan has a very special delivery, it’s the thing that makes people a fan of The Rakes. So I had to push my voice.
“It was very last minute. The guys from Bloc Party came down to the studio and ran through the tracks with us. But the Towers Of London was even more last minute. Donny from Towers Of London loves ’22 Grand Job’. We wanted to create that atmosphere of having fun.”
Bloc Party will headline the NME/ Radio 1 tent tonight at Leeds and on Sunday at Reading.