The Rainband are a 5 piece Manchester band formed by Martin Finnigan and Phil Rainey. Those of you of a certain age may recognize Phil Rainey’s name from his stint with former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook in 90s band Monaco. It was before a game at Manchester City in City Square when this band first came to my attention about 3 years ago. I was passing through and the band were performing a song that i now know to be The Prodigal and it stopped me in my tracks. Martin sounded amazing and the song had a riff that just had me hooked and got stuck in my head. I stopped and listened to rest of the set, took note of the bands name and went to watch the game (which if i remember rightly was against villa and we may have won 4 or 5-0). Upon getting home i shot on to iTunes and was delighted to find they had an E.P available and downloaded it. It fast became the most listened to set of songs on my iPod. They have a melodic indie style. Martins vocals are sublime and he is backed up by an experienced, solid band that flow easily, clearly comfortable in themselves. So far they have released 3 E.P’s. The Prodigal E.P features The Prodigal, still now my favourite Rainband song, Alone Staring Down The World, Alive and Headlong. It’s about as assured as a debut E.P could get. Fire E.P features Fire which for me is one of the strongest Rainband tracks, World We Seek (which i may be right in saying featured on Football Focus, if not it should have because it has football highlights wrote all over it), Roses in the Rain, Come On In and Two Ways, Two Seas. Sirens E.P is the most recent. It Obviously features Sirens which is currently being played on the Radio 2 playlist and receiving high acclaim. The E.P also features She Stands Alone which is a beautiful track showcasing everything good about The Rainband in a stripped bare kind of way and Careful What You Wish For. The band have also released Broken Youth and She’s a Rainbow as singles.
Rise Again: Rise Again is a single released in 2o12. On 23rd October 2011 Manchester City beat arch rivals Manchester United 6-1 much to the delight of lead singer Martin. He celebrated the victory but then on his arrival home was greeted by sad faces. Martin and his family are huge MotoGP fans and that same day much loved rider Marco Simoncelli crashed and sadly passed away. Martin was devastated and retreated to write a song in his memory and so Rise Again was born. The track features James Toseland a former Superbike world champion on keys. They played the track to Marco’s family and they believed it was the perfect tribute to their son and word began to spread around Italy and the MotoGP community. It has since gained them a cult following in both Italy and the MotoGP circle. Martin is also an ambassador to The Marco Simoncelli Foundation for which the website is here
The Rainband are going on a steady route to the top. They last year played at Glastonbury and in the past have supported The Simple Minds and Kaiser Chiefs. They are also about to play The Headlander Festival in Stockport and support the excellent Paolo Nutini on his Italian dates.
The Rainband are the perfect live band. Martin is a captivating lead singer, he has the crowd in the palm of his hands. He instigates crowd participation on songs including a tribute to Marco Simoncelli on Rise Again and has a lot of banter with both the crowd and his band. Taking centre stage seems to suit the band because it allows Phil and the others to play to their maximum and the result is a flawless performance. I was lucky enough to be at an acoustic Rainband show with about 20 other people in the tiny back room of a pub in Oldham and I have to say it was fantastic. The band were stripped bare and sounded absolutely top drawer. It was also the first time i got to see The Outreach Project who were the subject of another of my blogs.
I’m hoping to be able to get to Headlander Festival to see these guys (and The Puppet Rebellion who i will be featuring soon) once again and you should certainly try too.
Their debut album cannot come quick enough!