Echo Raptors are a four-piece Rock ‘n’ Roll band from Belfast. Formed in 2011, Since then the band have already established themselves as one of the most exciting and captivating bands in the country.
They have been compared to the likes of the Cast, The Verve and early Oasis. The band’s EP, ‘She’s So Free,’ received rave reviews across the web, national air time and landed a support slot with the Happy Mondays and the Charlatans at Belfast’s Feile festival.
Gigging NI’s Brian Alcorn speaks to Echo Raptors front man Philip Rainey and talks us through 2014 with the band.
How was 2014 for the band, was it a busy year?
“Yeah 2014 was a great year for us our best so far as a band, it was the busiest gigging schedule we’ve ever had and we have gained a great and loyal following from it.”
What was your highlight of the year as a band?
“There have been some great moments throughout the year but I would have to say supporting John Power in Slane was a nice little highlight. It’s great to play with someone who is an influence on our music.”
“There’s a cracking venue in Dundee that we played called Buskers it looks like an old Cathedral from the outside but inside it has a huge stage and a nice layout. Also Dublin castle in Camden was a great venue, very small and intimate but that place has a load of history behind it so it was really cool to play there.”
Did the band release any new music?
“Yeah in June we released the double A-side single ‘Real Live Wire’ and ‘Backseat’ which got a great response from our fan base and critics.”
How often do yous practice as a band, write new songs or come up with new ideas for the band?
“We practice as a band twice a week its important to stay fresh and tight and to always be on top of your game. With writing songs I try as much as possible to keep writing new material sometimes they flow out easily and other times it can take a while to put a tune together.”
What was the best gig you felt your band did during the year?
“That’s a tricky one there was so many great gigs we did throughout the year. Personally I loved the Dublin Castle gig in Camden and our own single launch in the Menagerie Belfast.”
Any new EP’S, Singles or Albums due out next year?
“We are going to be hitting the studio very soon to start work on our next single release, we are really looking forward to that!”
“We are currently getting some shows lined up for 2015 but one big one we can confirm is the Shine weekender in the Minehead arena Butlins in November. The lineup for it is pretty special with Happy Mondays and the Inspiral Carpets on the bill.”
Could local radio stations and media do more for local bands, if so what?
“Yeah I really think local stations should be playing more unsigned music and really giving local acts a big push! There are a select few stations who do this but not enough.”
How does your band get a breakthrough, and how do you go about trying to get to your music to more people or record companies?
“The music industry at the moment for bands is shocking; there really isn’t enough bands being picked up and getting a chance to shine. Turn on any music station it’s all the same… but hopefully that will change very soon.”
What other bands did your band see in 2014 that you enjoyed?
“I thought that Miles Kane in the Limelight Belfast was fantastic he has great energy on stage, There was also a band who we played with in Brixton called Welcome Pariah from Southampton who are a great band.”