Rook & The Ravens + support Sankofa & Tom Blackwell
Free Before 9pm, £4 Thereafter
Fresh from a lengthy, triumphant, 28-date initial tour of the USA, Rook and The Ravens are looking to keep up momentum throughout Autumn 2014 and beyond. Impressing across the States, where, for example, they were invited to film a live session at the ASCAP offices in downtown LA, a three -song live video at Silver Point Studios in Nashville and also recorded a limited-edition live album, Rook and The Ravens Live in Chicago; the band are looking to use their experience to bring their urgent, spellbinding live show to more venues across the UK, Europe and the USA. Having converged in Manchester, England, in 2007, Rook and The Ravens have been making astute alternative rock music with pop sensibilities ever since. Informed by Radiohead, Teenage Fanclub and The Smiths as much as Crosby Stills and Nash, Tom Petty and Neil Young, they set about finding an identity amongst the lyrical complexity they loved and the power pop, harmony led delivery they craved. Buoyed by early success, such as playing numerous festivals including Glastonbury within the first year of being together, the band adopted a steadier approach once their début collection of songs, 2009’s Sixteen Holes in Sixteen Souls was out in the open and, indeed, quickly sold out. It took two years for the next batch of new music to appear from the band, however in the interim a single, Alpha, was released to general and critical acclaim, getting airplay on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 Music show in the UK and Dave Fanning’s RTE 2 show in Ireland. Going back into the studio, sessions with Andy Macpherson (Teenage Fanclub, Doves) again at the helm produced three tracks for The Judge EP, released in 2011. Touring ensued, with the band constantly playing gigs up and down the UK and Ireland as well as twice making the journey to the Democratic Republic of Georgia. A new single, the live favourite Little Rib, appeared in early 2013, gathering the attention needed to embark on their first Stateside adventure. Recording for a follow-up to their first album is largely complete, and will tie together the best of their newer material and other tracks from the previous five years’ worth of sessions laid down at Revolution Studios 2 in Cheshire and Liverpool’s Elevator Studios.
Sankofa, a Ghanaian word, translates as “We must go back and reclaim our past, so we can move forward” this sentiment is present in all of Sankofas music.
Sankofa bring a mix of 60s Blues and Psych with menacing guitars and towering vocals. The Dark narrative of Sankofas lyrics bring 1920s Blues right up-to-date, tales of luxury and the waste of materials to the hyposcracy of the upper classes show we still live in an era of troubled society.
Recently the bands maturity and ability has been recognised and highlighted by being placed on the Glastonbury Emerging Artists Shortlist, gigs for Liverpool Sound City, The International Guitar Festival, Oxjam,Liverpool Music Week and being winners the Sound City Direct To Fan Campaign competition in association with Juxdit and Pledge Music.
Tom Blackwell, Singer-Songwriter, Liverpool/Manchester
“Wonderful, heartfelt music” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
“A talent as big as the sky” R2 magazine