NEWS: Rats on Rafts @ The Engine Room | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos – truly a man of impeccable taste – once stated: “I love Rats on Rafts. Go see them play live, even if you have to travel to Rotterdam!”

Fortunately, fans on our shores needn’t go to such lengths this December, as the Dutch noiseniks round off a fruitful 2021 with a full UK tour. The jaunt follows a sprawling, ambitious third record that’s pushed their sound into fresh realms – and spreads their wings once more with a maiden visit to North Shields’ The Engine Room on Thursday 9th December.

A huge musical and conceptual stride from their scrappy beginnings, the new album – Excerpts From Chapter 3: The Mind Runs a Net of Rabbit Paths, to give its full title – epitomises the group’s “weirder the better” mantra, adding venturesome psychedelic dollops to a melting pot already bearing influence from the likes of Van Dyke Parks, Scott Walker and The Beach Boys.

Support, meanwhile, comes courtesy of James Leonard Hewitson – a perennial local favourite who’s enjoyed a sonic makeover of his own of late. Embracing angular rhythms and plush post-punk synths, recent EP Commercial adds fresh depth to the trademark indie pop gloss showcased on last year’s terrific debut album Only The Noise Will Save Me; a fine opener on a terrific double-bill!

Rats on Rafts and James Leonard Hewitson play The Engine Room, North Shields on Thursday 9th December


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