Raie @ Interchange Studios - 15/07/2010 - Live Review
Photos:Jasmine Beidas Plowright
Posted: 31st July, 2010
Billed as Raies launch night for the single Talkin bout You as well as a celebration of the completion of album Deeper than Love (due out soon), tonight would see a full house at the Interchange Studios in Belsize Park. The Interchange Studios are home of WAC a music-based charity for whom lead singer Rachel has been working for quite a while, and you could feel the love in the room from students, ex-students, friends and guests alike.
Jazz-crooner, and Charlie Wright's Jazz Bar resident Deborah Carew opened the night confidently with a few nice, self-penned songs at the piano, later joined by Streets backing vocalist Kevin Mark Trail for her final song. All very nice, and all well appreciated by the crowd.
Tonight would be the second time Ive seen Raie (formerly known as RAE) perform live the first time being at Ronnies Bar in Ronnie Scotts, but with quite a different line-up. Joining the core of singer Rachel Bennett, guitarist/ backing singer Peter J. Pinto, backing singers Corinne Armstrong and Lynieve Austin and drummer Matt Earnshaw were new bass player Mike Comber and keyboard player Maurizio Minardi. A new feature for the bands music is a horn section, which tonight was comprised of a flugelhorn/ trumpet player and a saxophonist.
The band played two sets, broken-up with the first public screening of their video for their new single. Opening-up with new song Katyas Song (which you can download for free from www.raietheband.com for a limited time), accompanied by Kevin Mark Trail, the band then played a few familiar tunes some of which will make their new album, interspersed with a few more new songs also ready-and-waiting to be committed to wax, or printed to CD most likely. The new configuration of the band led to a new sound, and I must say I was expecting chaos with a reasonably large line-up and pretty busy songs, but I was proven wrong the parts seemed to fit just right, with the horns and keys alternately punctuating the rhythm and helping build the sound. Something which mightily impressed me which I discovered after the gig was that this was the first time the horn section had played with the band they stepped-in last minute on the morning of the gig, which is a massive credit to them for scoring and playing so well on the night. Respect due. Bass player Mike Comber also had a really impressive groove, which he shared with us on his upright, electric and fretless basses. The band on the night were as tight as me when its my round at the bar now thats tight! Ive already praised singers Rachel, Corine and Lynieve in my previous review, as well as Peter the guitarist, so no need to repeat myself. I said theres no need for me to repeat myself...
Another nice touch was when some of the children from the Girls Club in Croydon were invited on stage to sing backing vocals to one of the songs, giving them a share of the limelight. Later soul singer Kevin Leo joned Rachel to sing the song This Music Thing which Rachel wrote for him and pretty damn fine it was too.
Having paid complement to them, and for this review to be balanced, I would have to say that for my liking, the simpler numbers on the night worked best Talkin bout You (available now on iTunes), which went down a storm twice (once more for an encore) and Earthbound, with some of the numbers being lyrically a little over-powering (especially Blood) and there seeming to be little space between bars bit too frenetic for my taste.
All-in-all, it was a great night. Itll be interesting to hear the band with a less on-side crowd something it seems youll be able to do soon see below for current gigs.
Job well done.