"We're proud of where we're from": Manchester's The Rainband talk to Skiddle

Martin Finnigan of fast-rising Manchester four piece The Rainband takes time out to speak to Skiddle ahead of Ramsbottom Festival.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 30th Aug 2011

Having just toured with Simple Minds, and en route to Glasgow for a couple of shows, Martin Finnigan of fast-rising Manchester four piece The Rainband takes time out to speak to Skiddle ahead of Ramsbottom Festival.

How did you guys get together?

Phil (Rainey) is my best mate's brother in law. We had always talked music whenever we saw each other. In December 2009 the time felt right, and we jammed for the first time. And then it was once a week, then twice a week. It kind of just took off from there.

What's the meaning behind the band name ‘The Rainband’?

I used to call Phil 'The Rainman' (in reference to his surname, not due to him looking like Dustin Hoffman...although...) and so when we decided to get a band together, the Rainman became The Rainband. Hailing from Manchester, it helps that the two non contentious things the city is famed for are in our name: music and the weather - but that's coincidental.

What are your influences musically?

As a band it’s pretty eclectic. Ones we collectively cite are very much the likes of The Stones, The Doves, Kasabian, The Smiths. That said, it’s never a closed shop. If it's good music, it's good music.

So you’ve recently finished touring with Simple Minds. How was that?

Simple Minds are something else. They live in a different musical sphere. When you think of what they've done and what they achieved, it's amazing. All that to one side, as a band they are some of the most down to earth fellas you could meet. Jim Kerr is a true legend - a phrase overused these days but not in describing that man

Have you got any interesting stories from the tour?

We played Delamere Forest with them and in tour terms, it was sort of our own back yard gig but capacity was 12,000. The week before we'd played a charity festival with Rowetta, and at Delamere she joined us on stage to guest on our track The Prodigal. The reaction to that at Delamere convinced us all that we needed to record it together. We're now putting it out as a single so in November we release it as our second single.

Who would be your dream band to tour with?

Kasabian - for me they have set a precedent in recent times as the force in music. More importantly they come across as really sound as people. Be pretty amazing to play a few dates with them.

You’ve been in different bands previously. What is it that keeps you motivated and still want to make music?

Personally I've only ever been in one other band, but The Rainband is different. I can honestly say that I have never not looked forward to a rehearsal, gig or tour with the band. As four lads, there's no doubt there's differences in how we are, but there is a real buzz collectively whenever we get together. That formula is an inspiring one to make music. It comes easy and feels like it's getting better the longer we play. Long may it continue!

A lot of new bands seem to purposefully avoid the ‘Manchester’ sound, whereas you seem to embrace it.

We're proud of where we're from. We don't wear it like stripes on our arms but whilst London is the political capital, I think most would agree Manchester is the musical capital of this country. Our music is no doubt influenced by the sounds we grew up to here and I am proud of that, but we bring something new beyond those influences and that's essential.

Do you feel the band scene in Manchester has changed? Why do you think that is?

Scenes evolve but Manchester has and always will have, a live music scene that is at the forefront of world music. It's what we're known for as a city. That, and the weather.

What are the concepts and ideas behind your songwriting?

They are varied but all have meaning. I write all the lyrics so it's important to me a song has a reason. I don't get music, which is just a 'catchy slogan/melody' but general nonsense. There's a fair bit of that in the chart but we're hoping to change that.

You're playing Ramsbottom Festival in a few week. Are there any bands there that you’re looking forward to seeing live?

Cherry Ghost - I genuinely think they are special. Looking forward to meeting Janice Graham Band who've made good ground this year.

For someone who is reading this and hasn’t seen or hear of your band before, what would you say to them to convince them to come and see you at Ramsbottom Festival?

The way I see it is you go to a festival to see what you know and hear something new. So for me: come to Ramsbottom festival and get involved. The vibe of this event is ace. We play the Saturday main stage and the line up is ace. I reassure people who come see us, we won't bring the weather… just the music! The sun always shines on The Rainband.

Interview: Jo Waddington

Catch The Rainband at Ramsbottom Festival on Saturday 17th September. Tickets are still available below.

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