Photo Credit: Chris Barber
The Crookes have the kind of live energy that makes me deeply sad that I am not in a band. I left their concert practically reeling from the high of their music.
The Louisiana is not a big venue, but it perfectly suited the atmosphere of this gig. The evening began with the extremely talented Misty Miller, who, even without the usual support of her band, captivated the crowd with her opening set. Misty has exactly the sort of voice I would want to have if I were going to be a rock singer: it’s sweet and powerful and moves dynamically from gritty belting into mellifluous vulnerability. Her songs were extremely well written, often with a slightly tongue-in-cheek tone (such as You Can’t Date A Model) and resembled a Alanis Morissette meets Kate Nash vibe, with a dash of punk. The south Londoner closed with a fantastic indie rock rendition of Melanie Safka’s Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma. Misty’s debut album comes out in April and I would highly recommend giving it a listen.
As I mentioned, The Louisiana is pretty small, so when the headliners took to the stage they merely walked straight through the crowd. The Sheffield foursome started things off with a bouncy rendition of Where Did Our Love Go? from their second album. Immediately I found myself dancing along, something I continued to do for pretty much the whole show.
George Waite’s vocals if anything sound even more velvety live and he was note perfect the whole way through. It struck me how uncommon it is to find a frontman who is also a bassist and any hipster worth their salt will tell you that uncommon things are cool. Therefore George’s flamboyant bass-wielding was fantastically cool. On top of this he shakes his moptop about with verve that would make The Beatles proud, making him a very entertaining frontman.
But don’t be deceived into thinking The Crookes are all about the frontman. It is abundantly clear that the whole band have a great time performing, laughing with each other, and bantering with the audience. The chemistry that comes from this camaraderie is infectious.
The set included a great balance of songs from each of the band’s albums. The newest singles, I Wanna Waste My Time On You and World Is Waiting, sounded particularly excellent live, and fit easily in with the band’s canon. It was also an extremely well-paced gig, combining mostly upbeat tunes with a fewer slower ones. Misty Miller rejoined the band for one particularly melancholic song, an old B-Side, Ex-Lovers. George and Misty’s vocals complimented each other beautifully, making this a highlight of the gig.
After playing Afterglow, an impossibly catchy and danceable tune, George admitted that they’d usually go off stage and hope for an encore at that point but that they couldn’t be bothered. They then launched into Yes, We’re Magicians, one of their earliest songs. I had forgotten about this song as I’d not heard it in years and was very pleased it made its way into the set and received a joyful response from the audience.
I left the gig on a high, feeling pretty near euphoric. If you ever have a chance to see The Crookes live, I recommend it wholeheartedly. In the meantime, why not check out their latest album, The Lucky Ones?