The Rainkings at Uppermill Civic Hall

WHAT is the first – and probably the last – gig of 2017 is set to be quite a special one for the Rainkings onFriday as they gear up to support the brilliant James Taylor Quartet at Uppermill.

The Rainkings – front-man Stephen Holt, guitarist Dave Swift, drummer John Rowland, bassist Cathy Brooks and keys wizard Paul Williams – have been around in one line-up or another since the late 1980s, but armed with a new single – ‘Good Times’ – fans at Pop-Up’s latest promotion at the atmospheric Civic Hall venue can expect to see a set which ought to set pulses racing again.

For promoters Tim and Amanda Simpson, the Rainkings were an ideal choice to complement what promises to be a terrific funked-up night headlined by the JTQ.

Both bands play upbeat, high tempo tracks, backed perfectly by the swirling, piercing Hammond and Farfisa organ sounds.

The Rainkings’ keys man Williams said: “I really can’t wait to play Uppermill, we all can’t.

“I’ve been a fan of James Taylor for many, many years, going back to the days when he fronted the Prisoners.

“I lean more towards the Farfisa sound and so was a little more into Clint Boon’s sound with the Inspiral Carpets, but I’m really looking to watching a Hammond masterclass from James this weekend.

“I’ll be watching from the side of the stage and adoring what James does.”

The Rainkings last gigged last year after having released their well-received ‘Fiveways’ EP on their own Hear Here Records label in 2015.

‘Good Times’ was officially released on Friday (27th) having been recorded at Manchester’s SSR Studios, with all proceeds from sales set to go to the British Tinnitus Association charity.

Vocalist Holt, who doubles as the Inspiral Carpets’ front-man, is an ambassador for the charity’s ‘Plug ’em’ campaign.

Make the most of the Rainkings’ appearance in town this weekend as it is likely to be their last live show of the year, but they will be back.

Williams added: “We’ve got our set pretty much sorted out for Friday now. We’ve re-jigged one or two numbers and got them all down to a tee.

“There’s a few new tunes in there and ones we’ve been messing around with, so I hope everyone likes them.

“We’ve nothing else on gig-wise this year now, but we’re hoping to release another single before Christmas and then as for 2018, we’ll see what happens.

“I’d love to do more gigs and more recording. Maybe we could get an album together.

“We’ll all sit down towards the end of the year and see where we’re going.”

A few tickets still remain for the latest Pop-Up show this Friday at the Uppermill Civic Hall.

Acid Jazz legends the James Taylor Quartet are supported by the Rainkings, while Inspiral Carpets’ very own Clint Boon will be manning the DJ decks, as will Revolution Radio’s Dave Sweetmore.

Tickets are available via the link at: www.popupuppermill.co.uk

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