There’s nothing unusual in a Christmas raffle, but a Sheffield band is giving it a twist.
Indie-alternative band The Ratells are offering themselves as the prize - coming to your home, cooking you dinner and playing an acoustic set.
“We’re becoming incredibly bored of hearing bands moaning at how hard it is these days when they’re probably sat at home expecting things to just happen because they’ve put a couple of songs out on iTunes and have 50 of their friends coming to see their show in the local pub,’’ said frontman and bassist Ashley Holland, aged 20.
“Everything we do, we literally do ourselves. No management, no label, no outside influence.”
Since the start of this year, The Ratells have played over 50 gigs in fans’ front rooms around the country and released a video consisting entirely of pictures of their fans for summer single ‘Faces’.
They have performed support slots with the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, The Courteeners and a huge summer support tour with Room 94. Now on their first headline tour, they play The Leadmill on Friday, December 20.
“We have just gone full time and are very busy,” said guitarist Danny Clare, aged 21. “It’s a bit of a transition at the moment, and there’s not a lot of money it in, but we’re enjoying it.”
The band, which has been together for one-a-half years ago after members played in other outfits, is completed by Ben Stubbs on drums and Sam Humphries on guitar.
They do everything themselves, from writing personalised notes for each ticket or bit of merchandise sold, right down to booking their tours.
“Far too many bands sit and blame the system,” said Ashley. “They bang on about how the internet has ruined the music industry. For us, it’s a time to reinvent ourselves; an exciting time full of opportunity, not one for pointing the finger at Spotify or Facebook.”
There has been a good response so far to the raffle, with about 400 tickets sold online at £1 a time.
Half of the money raised will go to Cancer Research UK, a charity close to the bands hearts. ‘‘Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way,” said Ben.
“I know the four of us certainly have. We’ve had an incredible year. Being able to do what we love full time is unreal, and we wanted to end it by giving something back’’.
As well as the prize of the musical entertainment, there is the prospect of a good meal for the winner of the raffle - nothing microwaved from a supermarket.
“Sam is a pretty good cook,” said Danny. “He used to be the manager of a restaurant. But we’ll all muck in.”
Tickets from http://theratells.com/raffle. The draw will be made live on December 19 at 8pm.