Raygun Wants You To Have Some Fun!Posted October 15th, 2009 At 3:43 am By MTV ASIA
TEXT: LENNAT MAK
Admittedly, I knew nothing about Raygun before MTV Worldstage Live In Malaysia. But I recognized Ben Lyonsmyth from Rooster, whom I’ve interviewed when they were in Singapore, a couple of years back. Further “journalistic probing” later, it was found that Ben used to play with drummer Sam Embery, who was from Five O’ Clock Heroes, for a singer/songwriter named James Murray, who goes by Murray James (We know. It’s confusing!). Meanwhile, Adriano Buffone (The Adj) and Tobias Ratcliffe (Raygun) were in The Wire, who later renamed themselves to Raygun and the Adijitators with Ben and Sam on board. Bits of gigging later, they shortened their moniker to the shorter and punchier Raygun and begun their quest for world domination.
So that was the brief background check. Raygun could be considered an indie super group, if you like. Just before their trip to MTV Worldstage Live In Malaysia, they had an unfortunate episode with the British press who named them “the indie spinal tap.” But in my opinion, it’s more of a”comebackmake” than “break” roadblock for them. Doesn’t hurt that the band actually has a great sense of humor too.
Then they went on to play Malaysia and got 15, 000 people, who had never heard of them before, dancing to their music. They did their time opening for Pink but I’m pretty sure MTV Worldstage Live In Malaysia was their biggest gig till date. It was a good introduction to Asia for them and vice versa. Hamish Macbain from NME is right: “The bottom line? Going to a gig when you have no idea what is going to happen is a LOT more fun than going to gigs where you do.”
Two months later, Raygun returns to Asia to promote their self-titled debut. On Tuesday, they played a six-song private showcase at Movida for the press and selected fans. To quote Glee, “Everybody loves disco” and that fact remains unchanged for Raygun. Their blend of disco/funk/rock/pop/and-a-whole-lot-more is highly irresistible. Back in Malaysia, the grapevine was that the band couldn’t do “Lord Forgive Me” due to “religious connotations” and I was bummed because the song is an absolute favorite of mine. Hearing the words “Lord forgive my troubled soul…but for now I’ll carry on my wicked ways” out of Raygun’s superb voice live, I felt my life was a little closer to completion, somewhat. Why is that so? Because Raygun seems like a guilty pleasure. Too good to be true, too goddamn catchy to be an indie buzz band but yet, too “new” to be up there with the big boys playing stadiums where it would fit frontman Raygun’s flamboyant stage presence to a T.
But what the heck. Music should be fun. The band blasted the set with their singles “Just Because” and “Waiting In Line,” with a couple of other tracks like “Can’t Say No,” “Rocketblast” and “See You Later” without missing a beat. Mid-set, Raygun leaped off the stage right in front of Kerrie and managed to grab my friend Jon for a bit of a bromance rock out. It was utterly awesome.
And my bottom line? I ADORE RAYGUN. Maybe you should too.