The Rakes rope in special guests for Leeds appearance

Singer too ill to perform, so the band get some famous mates in to help out...

THE RAKES were joined onstage by BLOC PARTY and TOWERS OF LONDON during their appearance at the CARLING WEEKEND: LEEDS festival today.

The band, who appeared on the NME / Radio 1 Stage, were without singer Alan Donohoe, who is at home suffering from illness.

In his place, guitarist Matthew Swinnerton took on most of the lead vocals, while later in the set he invited out a number of special guests.

Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack was first out, playing on ’Terror!’, followed on the next song ’Strasbourg’ by his bandmate Kele Okereke.

For the final song, ’22 Grand Job’, Towers Of London singer Donny Tourette ran onto the stage and duetted with Kele.

Speaking as soon as they came off stage, Swinnerton explained how the whole thing came about. He said: “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.”

The band had very little time to rehearse for their appearance, with Bloc Party coming down to the band’s studio to work through the songs just once. The appearance from Towers Of London was even less planned.

He continued: “It was very last minute. The guys from Bloc Party came down 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 make another appearance on the NME / Radio 1 Stage again this evening, as headliners.