The Rakes kick off Club NME On Tour supported by Topman

Fans in Portsmouth go mental…

Club NME On Tour supported by Topman kicked off in Portsmouth last night (September 25) to an ecstatic reception from a rammed Wedgewood Rooms.

Headliners The Rakes along with Louis XIV and Five O’Clock Heroes were overrun with stage-divers during a super-charged opening night to the eleven-date trek.

The Rakes were overwhelmed by the response, with guitarist Matthew Swinnerton simply telling NME.COM: “Really good, really good show.”

The band tore through a hyperactive 45-minute set which included ‘Strasbourg’, ‘Retreat’, ‘Work, Work, Work (Pub, Club, Sleep)’ and a rapturously received finale of ‘22 Grand Job’.

“It’s the first time we’ve had those lights,” said singer Alan Donohoe of the band’s new strip-light stage set. “It’s very U2. I remember going to Wembley and seeing a U2 show or a Michael Jackson show and it’s so big and impressive, then you go and see your mates’ band at the local pub and it’s alright but the whole show is a bit lacking. Now we’ve gone to that U2 and Michael Jackson level by playing here with a strobe light.”

“If Bloc Party have got strip lights,” Swinnerton added, “then we’ve got to have them!”

The gig marked a triumphant return to the UK after The Rakes’ recent jaunt to the US.

“It’s good coming home,” said Donohoe. “You never know what to expect in the US, but it was brilliant, we had a very good response.”

“It’s kind of like starting again, playing over there,” explained Swinnerton. “Playing smaller showcase shows like we were doing when we first started out, which is always a different sort of atmosphere. And then coming back here to this, the feedback’s so strong from the crowd, everyone’s really energised from it. It’s good to come back.”

Club NME On Tour Supported by Topman will hit Brighton tonight before continuing around the country.

The dates are:

Brighton Concorde 2 (September 26)

Oxford The Zodiac (September 27)

Bournemouth Old Fire Station (29)

Liverpool Carling Academy 2 (30)

Glasgow School Of Art (October 1)

Middlesbrough Empire (3)

Nottingham Rescue Rooms (4)

Leeds Warehouse (5)

Northampton Roadmender (6)

London KOKO (7)

For availability, go to NME Tickets or call them on 0870 1 663 663.