Following a successful set on the bill at Woodfest on the 22nd July it was time to catch up with the lads for a quick chat in a wet tent off-stage ,and what a nice bunch they are.

The band line-up consists of frontman Finn Richards on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Max Morrow on lead guitar, Evan O’Toole on bass guitar and Alex on drums, and with an average age of just 19-20 years old don’t let that fact mislead you as the band have matured considerably over the past 12 months. Hailing from the Warrington area it is hardly surprising that the feel-good vibes of songsters Viola Beach had a positive effect on their young lives, but apart from occasional guitar riffs in their own music there is no direct comparison. Moreover, there is a definite leaning towards Funk, and with vocalist Finn mentioning that their genre is probably more Funk/Pop, their collaborative approach to songwriting is clearly influenced by the likes of Prince, Earth Wind & Fire and Jamiroquai.

The band’s first single ‘Nights with You’ was released in July 2022 and with (what sounds like) Nile Rogers-type chords it is a very accomplished piece of work indeed and could have easily slotted in with the funk era of the late 70’s. In fact this is clearly the image that the band projects and garbed in flares,stacked shoes and short denim jackets they certainly look the part ( the author knows, he was playing in the 70’s!!). Their second single ‘Follow Your Nose ‘ was released in January 2023 and was recorded at the famous Motor Museum studios in Liverpool, also home to recording artists Oasis,The La’s and The Coral to name a few, and with Ben Harper producing they were in very good company. Lead guitarist Max mentioned this latest single was an ode to family holidays when he often inquired of his dad “where are we going?” to which he replied ” follow your nose and go” – it’s fascinating how lyrics can arise and this jaunty, summery tune is the type you would hear in a beach bar abroad and bring home with you. It really is a clever, catchy tune and quite unforgettable.

‘Follow your Nose’ was their opening song at Woodfest and people who were not familiar with the band were clearly lifted by it as another downpour threatened to spoil the day. However, the band were an absolute pleasure to watch as frontman Finn gyrated his way across the stage in true Jay-Kay/Prince style.with supreme confidence that belied his youth and was accompanied by a superb lead guitar from Max and a rock-solid funky rhythm section of Evan and Alex. Guitarist Max hinted at another single some time this year but if you want to hear more of the band again you can find them by logging on to their website and selecting the Spotify icon or by entering The Raymonds directly on Spotify but ensure you select the right band or you could end up with a bit of punk rock! 

Keep an eye on these hard working lads and catch them now is the authors advice, before the corporates snap them up and are given a chance to sanitize their music as they deserve every success in their own right in this fickle business.