Festival Republic Stage
Some bands are made for certain occasions and so it seemed for The Crookes on Friday lunchtime at the Festival Republic Stage. For many escaping the sun, seeing the Sheffield-based band set up their own equipment must have proved an endearing sight yet the cherubic faced quartet come from a bygone age. Of 1950's Brylcreem-sculpted quiffs, buttoned up short sleeved shirts and polished black shoes.
Their repertoire also cheerfully evoked their appearance as they bounced and thrusted to the lithe guitar strains of opener 'Bloodshot Days'. Heads began to twitch, mirroring those onstage, and for the smitten crowd 'Chorus of Fools' shimmered amidst a now smoky stage allowing lead singer George Waites's earnest vocals a short limelight. Between tracks, the frontman was a delight despite foolishly asking the crowd as one where they hailed from then declaring that they could dance to 'Godless Girl'. As if they needed permission with such old fashioned simple guitar and bass interplay which gifted a retro but enticingly accessible sound. 'By The Seine' was another case in point with its poignant, heartbreaking melodies until Waite's almost apologetic yet romantic ukulele solo.
Chivalry aside, this was a well honed set when including the thrill of 'Backstreet Lovers' with its tight, intermittent rhythms. Closing track 'Yes, Yes, We're Magicians' epitomised the effect; from the finger snapping intro to the references of snuff and seasides. They may seem as if from a distant past but The Crookes could be well Sheffield's next famous export.