Biography – The Rainband, the story so far…
Originating from the legendary Manchester’s music scene, The Rainband was formed in 2010 by singer Martin Finnigan and guitarist Phil Rainey – former band mate of Peter Hook in Monaco – later joined by drummer Steve Irlam, multi-instrumentalist Joe Wilson and Sam Wilson on bass.
Pegged for greatness by everyone from BBC 6Music to Rolling Stone Magazine and following a string of mesmerising performances last year at major festivals such as Glastonbury and during their UK & European tour, The Rainband returned this Spring with a stunning new single, a new EP and a UK tour.
With high-shine production, the Rainband’s sound is a noteworthy example of how the genre can manifest itself in pop music today. Calling on a medley of guitars, keys, smashing drums and the vocal power of frontman Martin Finnigan, the powerful rhythms and epic melodies the band are widely acclaimed for have cemented their seat at new independent rock’s head table.
Their latest single ‘Sirens’ hit the downloads on March 30th and was chosen to be “Big Tune of the Week” on Absolute Radio. The tightly-packed track was chosen as a single after an overwhelming reaction from the band’s live performances last year.
And for much of their live catalogue, The Rainband drew swords with rock’n’roll royalty the Kaiser Chiefs and Simple Minds, and also sharing stages with numerous well-known acts, including a UK tour support with Ocean Colour Scene.
Jim Kerr of Simple Minds was so astounded when he heard The Rainband that he phoned up Finnigan personally to book them as their support act for their upcoming tour.
Liam Gallagher has also endorsed The Rainband, along with many music journalists across the board.
And their successes have continued – The Rainband were also hand-picked by O2 as Rising Stars for the British Music Awards – and have played part in raising £25,000 for charity with a top ten single (indie charts).
Just last year the band made their debut appearance on one of Glastonbury Festival’s main stages, which was also played by The Vaccines and Everything Everything.
The Rainband are currently working at their highly anticipated debut album which is set to be released this autumn and with a first excerpt out early July , and are preparing for a string of major dates including appearances as Paolo Nutini’s Special Guests on his European tour this summer.
BBC 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins said: “Every now and again a band comes along that sounds like the start of something very special – and The Rainband are that band.”
The band hit the studio in early 2012, firstly recording the soundtrack to independent film ‘Plenty More Fish In The Sea’. They were then booked to play at the British MotoGP at Silverstone following the success of the HMV Ritz gig. After reading an article about a newly formed foundation set up for MotoGP star Marco Simoncelli (who lost his life at the Malaysian GP in 2011) the band decided to write and record their next single as a tribute to Marco and in aid of the Simoncelli Foundation. A meeting with the Simoncelli family in Italy was arranged and the family agreed to the request.
In just three months, the track ‘Rise Again’ secured the services of World Superbike Champion James Toseland on piano, a video filmed in Coriano, Italy, a live performance streamed worldwide with James Toseland, and debut 9th position in the Independent Singles Charts.
Martin Finnigan, lead singer of The Rainband, said:
“When we went out to Italy and met the Simoncelli family, we agreed there and then that all profits would be for the Foundation. I shook Marco’s Father’s hand and made a promise. When I came back, I phoned James Toseland and he agreed immediately to play on the song and from there it took off.”
The Rainband performed the song, with James Toseland on piano, in front of over 60,000 at Silverstone in June 2012 at the British MotoGP. All profits go to the Marco Simoncelli Foundation which has been set to build care homes for the disabled across the world, a cause close to the racing hero’s heart.
Rise Again was released independently by the band and behind the song is a real success story. Listen to the radio interview below with Martin on BBC 5Live for an update on the ongoing work for the Simoncelli Foundation.
With the summer dates with Simple Minds already in the place for 2011 they released their debut EP in March of that year. The band undertook a headline UK tour to promote the EP, which led to festival support slots with The Charlatans. The fan base continually grew from strength to strength. Whilst opening for Simple Minds to a sun-drenched crowd of over 5000 at Delamere Forest their infectious melodies and live energy saw a new dawn in the band’s rise.
Their follow up single in June, She’s A Rainbow earned praise from the likes of Johnny Marr and Guy Garvey. Liam Gallagher flagship clothing store Pretty Green was chosen to launch the single during one of the numerous London dates in a hectic summer schedule.
Follow up single was live favourite The Prodigal. It featured Rowetta from The Happy Mondays, who joined the lads during a 7 date UK tour with indie giants Ocean Colour Scene, including sell out dates at Glasgow Barrowlands and Manchester Apollo.
The culmination of a momentous 2011 saw the Manchester four-piece perform a victorious homecoming at The HMV Ritz on December 18th to a sell out crowd.
In early 2010 they wrote the soundtrack to a book called Broken Youth, a gritty novel about life growing up in Manchester written by local author Karen Woods which is being made into an ITV drama. The band performed the single during a Sky TV showcase gig. Following this TV appearance with a debut Autumn UK tour saw the band nominated as Band of the Year by The Natter magazine. Manchester independent label, Affinity Records were keen to offer the band and deal and this was secured during the late summer.
During a radio session in Manchester the band met one of the UK’s biggest band exports. This led to an endorsement from Simple Minds which would form the basis of a continually successful 2011.
Martin said: “Simple Minds’ manager heard me & Phil play Broken Youth acoustically on a radio show and asked to hear the full band version. They played it to Jim Kerr & he loved it!”
“Next thing I knew Jim himself rang me up to ask us if we would support them on their upcoming tour – I thought it was one of my mates messing around – but it was actually him – we are big fans so it was pretty amazing.”