The Rakes: Where Are They Now?

Nathan Standlee documents life after the band for some forgotten favourites.

There’s a special place in our hearts for those bands who, unfortunately, seemed to be doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. You know the ones. They just had something going on that could only work during one brief moment in time. This in turn would launch their careers into dizzying levels of success, before those rock and roll dreams inevitably fizzled out as the attentions of the public shifted elsewhere a year or two later. 

Well, what do they do when it’s all over? Could Andrew WK be frothing up flat whites in Starbucks now? Maybe Craig Nicholls (The Vines, remember?) will show up on your doorstep delivering you your Mighty Meaty from Domino’s? Or is there some sort of defunct-band landfill that we don’t know about? Probably not, but wouldn’t it be great to know if it was maybe even a possibility? Worry not, because we’re here to do some digging and find answers. Where Are They Now documents life after the band for some forgotten favourites.


Our first subjects are The Rakes. Back in 2006 they had quite a run, with the instant success of ‘22 Grand Job’ triggering a string of singles charting in the top 40. It was pretty straight forward guitar indie, but something about it clicked with the masses. Life in Camp Rakes was pretty damn sweet. However, after a significant drop off in sales for subsequent albums, the band decided to call it a day in 2009. Four years on from their split, we delved a little deeper and found out what they’re up to now:



Singer Alan Donahoe seemed to drop off the radar entirely in the wake of the break-up. Which is totally understandable; background members can pretty much instantly move on and do whatever the hell they want without fear of recognition. Lead singers, on the other hand, have to wait the obligatory few years to let the ‘Oh, it’s just that bloke from The Rakes’ jibes subside. Ergo, a good four years later, that bloke from The Rakes has released a video for current project ‘Champagne Campaign’, where you can witness his new penchant for extremely large chins and fluorescent lipstick, soundtracked by some atonal art rock. It’s fun.

Bassist James Hornsmith actually acted as The Rakes tour manager while he was in the band, so was obviously the only sensible and organised one. True to form, he’s currently forging a reasonably successful career for himself in music management, having joined the staff at the highly reputable Machine Management (Friendly Fires, Mika, Clean Bandit). He is personally responsible for looking after Citizens!, who did this really cool video for their track ‘True Romance’ last year and just released their debut album on May 28th. 



Drummer Lasse Peterson made a smart, simple move and jumped straight behind the kit for Wolf Gang, who you’ve probably already heard of. In case you haven’t, their debut album was basically universally lauded with praise upon its release. GQ went so far as to name them the 95th best thing in the world in their yearly ‘100 Best Things In The World’ listing in 2012. Good work, Lasse.

Guitarist Matthew Swinnerton has continued his musical journey in the solo fashion, and it looks as though he’ll be releasing a debut offering titled ‘Lampenfieber’ on July 29th this year via Trestle Records. Described on their website as propulsive, guitar based Krautrock with addictive hooks and melodies, a quick look at his Twitter bio also reveals that it will be entirely instrumental, which sounds highly intriguing.