Crookes keep Joy of Sheff feeling going with intimate gig

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The Crookes, Shakespeare

On a weekend when Pete McKee gave us his fabulous The Joy Of Sheff exhibition, the city’s own The Crookes carried on the feel-good factor with a performance that was a sheer joy.

This intimate gig in The Shakey’s tiny upstairs room sold out before they could finish the sentence ‘tickets on sale’ and those lucky enough to get in witnessed a band that is surely on the cusp of ‘making it’ - whatever that means these days.

On Sunday The Crookes took to the stage in single file from the crowd and without much fuss dived into their repertoire of tight, melodic and instant pop tunes.

There’s a Brylcreem whiff of the Fifties about the four-piece with their fallen-down quiffs, rolled-up jeans, trebly twin guitars and it’s no real surprise Richard Hawley is a fan and has thrown a Gretsch-strumming arm around them.

After forming in 2008 the Crookes are a polished unit now and they effortlessly recreated some of their greatest moments like Afterglow, American Girls and their standout track Sofie - which has got to be one of the best tracks of the past five years. Singer George Waite is their biggest asset. Playing and pointing his bass like a gun strapped across his chest, his voice soared, swooned and carried real emotion as the crowd sang his own words back to him.

Next up for the band is a headline show at London’s The Scala tonight. Six hundred-plus tickets have gone out the door and it shows how far they have come.

When they first burst on to the scene the likes of Steve Lamacq tipped them for greatness. Now it’s about them taking their own advice. Hold fast and above all, keep going. If they do, it’ll happen.