Gathering of Strangers

From Manchester to the world: the rise of indie rock.

The Manchester based band were indeed five strangers who gathered in the city in September 2015 to begin their musical study. Hailing from Birmingham, Scunthorpe and Carlisle, over the next 3 years Conor Rabone (23 vocals) Tom Wingate (22 guitar) Bruce Higgs (23 bass/keys) Peter Crampsey (24 drums) and Andre Ilkiw (22 guitar/bass) all came from different musical and cultural backgrounds.

Since moving to Manchester and meeting at ‘BIMM’ music college they developed their style taking in many musical influences to create a sound that is unique, far from other infamous comparisons (do the Gallagher brothers ring any bell?) and that boasts about a new course for indie rock.

The name is also a homage to the work of light artist Nathan Coley, and ‘Gathering of Strangers’ is in fact a light work that welcomes the Gallery Entrance at Whitwork Park in Manchester.

The boys were all fans of this artwork and asked for permission to use it as the name of the band. What makes them special, besides the artistic reference and the good looks? They write anthemic songs that scream passion and a sound that feels like a velvet touch.

Over the coming years regular shows across the city and around the UK saw the five-piece build a cult following of avid fans who ‘couldn’t get enough’ of their captivating symphonies alongside the energy and passion that exuded from their electric presence on stage. 

Conor’s voice is deep and warm, the melody is fluid, melancholic and psychedelic at the same time. A new rhythm that is intoxicating without question. Behind this route to success (their record ‘Lady’ was record of the week on local radios in December 2019) they have five very different personalities and each draw from separate and personal musical influences, which in turn effects how they write music as a collective.

Conor says: “We came together to study in Manchester and now consider it our adopted home. We are currently writing our most forward thinking and power-driven music to date and plan to express ourselves even further as we grow and move forward”.

Their First release ‘Nice Hair’ (June 2018) set the tone and the follow-up ‘Lady’ (March 2019) brought them much attention having worked with Neal ‘X’ Whitmore (Marc Almond/Sigue Sigue Sputnik), Cenzo Townshend (Decoy studios) to mix and Frank Arkwright (Abbey Road) to master.

With the power and rawness of 70’s inspiration, ‘Lady’, their most famous hit has all the flair of the old classics yet with a deeply modern twist. Their easy-going attitude made it a pleasure to meet with them for this exclusive editorial and a lot of fun to watch on stage. They are contemporary rockstars that are humble, kind and respectful with 29 anyone they find in their path, whether it’s the press, their fans or other musicians.

These extremely talented young boys have now set their sights on the rest of the world and we are confident they will conquer a wider audience. Good music, style and savoir-faire, all at once. Watch this space.

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