Chances are that you’re already unconsciously familiar with The Crookes. They’re “that band named after where they live”, or “those who formed on the Fuzz Club dancefloor”.
You might know their name from the posters documenting their frequent gigging around Sheffield or, given their current student status, you might even share a lecture theatre with one of them.
Theirs is a story in its infancy; catching a band as the murmurs of their promise begin to spread.
The Crookes are George, Daniel, Alex and Russell and, although it’s only a year since they played their first gig, they’ve got the wholehearted endorsement of indie supremo Steve Lamacq and will soon be putting out their first record.
In the beginnings we find Daniel and Alex having formed a band, complete with fake names, joke songs, designs on being “Flight of the Conchords-esque, mocking all our friends”.
“None of us could sing,” says Alex, “it was a haphazard way of doing things.”
They firstly recruited vocalist George, who said yes to joining without hearing a note, and later their drummer Russell. And thus came the realisation that perhaps they might do the band thing properly and all be able to play an instrument.
The Crookes sound like their musical hearts are owned by both a reverence for storytelling and 1960s pop songwriting, and a faint nostalgia for times gone by.
They come across like a gang of dreamers who see the world in pretty sepia tones, where delicate guitar pickings and finger clicks become jangly C86-style outbursts, topped with a lyrical streak of whimsy romanticism currently free of cynicism.
Lamacq applauded their “ambition and flare”, saluting George’s “special, poetic” voice and praising them to the high heavens after witnessing their March gig at The Stock Room.
Their “amazing” manager Penny had handed him their CD, and she’d withheld the news that he would be in the audience that night. The realisation that they had someone important to be impressed in the crowd (Lamacq was stood with Jon McClure, aka ‘The Reverend’) made Daniel play entirely wrong notes for his opening guitar line, where he recounts his thoughts as “Fuck! It couldn’t get any worse!”
The Lamacq seal of approval has led to more gigs; his girlfriend took a booking agent to one of their London shows and they’ll soon be heading off around the country touting their (admittedly slightly shambolic) live act.
“It would be easy to say that because he likes us it’s all going to happen”, says George. “We’re just trying to play as many gigs and keep writing songs.”
With a 7” vinyl release of their first proper single imminent, joining the exclusive Too Pure Singles Club, The Crookes have degrees to finish and audiences to charm.
And with an arsenal of unabashed loveliness at their disposal, it’d be a crowd made of stone not to hear them, smile and eventually fall.