The Crookes Live At The Queens Social Club, Sheffield// 17/12/2011

So this review might be slightly late but since seeing the band I have not been able to access the world of the internet, until now…

It was clear how much Sheffield loves this band and it was equally clear how much the band loves Sheffield, their hometown. The band delighted the crowd by playing the foot stompers Bloodshot Days, Backstreet Lovers and Bright Young Things as well as treating us to a wonderful cover of Santa Baby (well it was Crookesmas). The band was energetic and George Waite excelled as front man, while his hair bounced along to the beat and for a moment I thought I was watching Michael McIntyre. The concert was excellent and it was clear the crowd and the band were enjoying themselves, however you couldn’t help feel the venue wasn’t equipped well enough in particular for sound quality, while I felt the stage was too small for the band.

The first support act: Silent Film Project were good but they were an average indie band; pleasant to listen to but lack that tune that sets them apart. The second support act was Sissy and The Blisters who were fantastic, they provided a fresh sound of garage rock similar to early Horrors and are definitely worth seeking out further. The Crookes gave a fantastic performance and it is hard to understand how these guys are not bigger. The band tells the crowd that it has been their “best ever gig” and was an “absolute pleasure to be home” but it is safe to say the pleasure was all ours. Thank you Crookes for a great Christmas present.

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Top 5 Most Underrated Artists

Here are my top five underrated artists, which deserve a little more attention:

1.Thomas Dybdahl – This man is huge in his home country of Norway, but here in England we’ve just never picked up on him despite many attempts to break through. It’s a real shame because he is a very talented young man; he manages to break your heart whilst your foot taps to an infectious beat (Dice, This Year). The song structures are well crafted as you’re never quite sure which direction his songs will go; this gives rise to an exciting listen. His lyrics are passionate and heartfelt, and sung in a very unique voice.

2.The Subways – This threesome from Hertfordshire have had ample opportunities to make it big, they have appeared on the OC and in the film RocknRolla, but yet they remain to be a cult band. As a three piece their music is raw, loud and very very catchy.
3.The Crookes – A lot of hype was behind this band when their debut was released, with fans in Richard Hawley and Noel Gallagher, yet nothing really came of them.  It’s not hard to see why they are often likened to The Smiths, but they provide a twist on this fusing their jangling guitars with a 1960’s pop. Their lyrics are very well crafted and owe a lot to the angry young men group of the 1950’s: “Take me back into that bloody haze. We’ll set those lies ablaze”.

4. Admiral Fallow – A young Scottish band (whom used to go by the name The Louis Brother Collective) are a catchy folk band. They have created layered songs with a multitude of instruments (double bass; flute); yet the album flows well and is consistent.  They deserve much more than a (dreary) Mumford and Sons comparison.
5. James Vincent McMorrow – The comparisons with Bon Iver are strong, both secluded themselves to create a rich folky album. What makes James Vincent McMorrow special is that he wears his heart on his sleeve; you can hear his voice break as he sings an emotional line. His only album to date represents the environment it was recorded, when you listen to it, the lyrics and instruments used conjure up a beached landscape, he created a truly beautiful album.