Blackpool band Rik Rak's music celebrated 30 years on in retrospective album

Rik Rak as they were in the late 80s.
Rik Rak as they were in the late 80s.
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It may be 30 years since they started gigging in the pubs and clubs of Blackpool.

But only now has Rik Rak (aka Summerhouse) seen their work pulled together in a new 11-track retrospective album called Illuminated.

Rough Trade is distributing Illuminated in the UK

Rough Trade is distributing Illuminated in the UK

A couple of years ago, former band member Bern Smith uploaded six videos of the band’s indie dance tracks on to YouTube and thought nothing more of it.

Then earlier this year, he was contacted by German record label Firestation Records, which wanted to release them on vinyl and CD.

“When they contacted us, I checked them out and found this interesting label, specialising in a very particular genre; British indie pop from the late 80s and 90s,” Bern said.

“All the material was in two-track casette format, so I got it digitised and sent it to them, where they’ve remastered it to release.

The band today

The band today

“They were little more than demos, but Firestation loved the songs and felt that there was a market for them - we were really surprised.”

The band, made up of Bern, Pete Walmsley, Karl Gregory, Bryan Crombleholme and Linda Burns, played their first gig at Illusions, and quickly became regulars in the indie dance scene, playing venues such as The Adam ‘n’ Eve, The Galleon and The Blue Room.

They soon secured support slots for some of the era’s biggest acts when they played venues such as the Empress and Tower ballrooms, but split amicably in 1990.

“Having that little piece of vinyl in our hands after all these years is great, and we’re delighted,” Bern added. “It would be nice to think we could get some radio play but who knows.”

Future plans

“We’re long in the tooth now, but it’s an idea that we could get back together on the back of it.”

Get your copy from UK site

Rough Trade is distributing Illuminated in the UK, released Friday 10 August, 2018.