Monday, 31 August 2009

The Crookes - The Bowery, Sheffield - 30/8/9

It is bank holiday and everyone’s out. There are orange faces, hitched skirts, numb-skull white shirted pricks chanting at the orange faces and then jumping in front of taxis on Sheffield’s flooded West Street. It’s nice up north and so is the weather but it’s a relief to eventually find solace in new(ish) Monkey bar, The Bowery.

Tonight Sheffield’s own shanty loving quartet The Crookes are the main attraction amongst DJ sessions and colourful cup cakes.

As the band take to the stage there is a moment of calm in the packed bar and people turn and face to see what Steve Lamacq’s “top new band” are all about. It seems they already know as the Crookes open with ‘Yes, Yes, We Are Magicians’ and mouths are silently moving along with the words as the band who named themselves after a suburb of the city they met in swing gently until the they abandon the finger clicks and jerk into life.

They follow up with set highlight, ‘Backstreet Lovers’, which exposes their fragile song writing and gentle approach with a comforting and reminiscent edge that brings romance back to the Bowery for a few short minutes.

The band have the sweetest sound which never threatens to leave their fingertips despite there being a mid-set lull in which the band fall a little too far in love. The guitarists absently follow each other’s fingers up their fret boards and the energy is lost as the ambient chat of the crowd glows ever greater until the band reach set closer, ‘A Colliers Wife’ (“I know there are things you’d like to do but I like wasting time with you.”)

To large cheers and couple of beers the Crookes leave the stage having charmed an intrigued crowd who will undoubtedly seek this band out once more.

‘A Colliers Wife’ is the Crookes debut single and is set to be released with ‘By The Seine’ on September 13 this year. After becoming Steve Lamacq’s favourite new scenesters, being ‘band of the week’ on Radio 6 Music and a catalogue of sun-loving tunes it looks like the Crookes might just live up to their name and steal your heart.

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