The Crookes
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The Crookes

Rugby, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Rugby, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop




"UK Band The Crookes releasing new album..."

Sheffield UK act The Crookes have been at it since 2008 or so, crafting wordy, jangly Britpop, most recently on last year's Hold Fast which added some "whoa-oh" anthemicism to the mix. That album is getting a belated North American release on October 1 via Modern Outsider. You can check out videos from LP singles, "Bear's Blood" and "Dance in Colour" below.
Shortly before that, The Crookes are coming to the U.S. for a little media gladhanding and will do two shows in NYC while here: September 17 at Bowery Electric with Love Jupiter and Andrew James; and September 19 at Union Hall with Los Encantados and Young Rising Sons. No advance tickets to Bowery Electric, but tickets for the Union Hall show are on sale now. They're the only North American dates the band have scheduled - Brooklyn Vegan

"The Crookes:A Day In Pictures"

British indie/pop band The Crookes played their first ever NYC show at Bowery Electric earlier this week. Prefix sent one of our staff photographers to spend time with the band prior to their set at Bowery Electric to see what a day in the life of The Crookes is like. -

"The Crookes:A Day In Pictures"

British indie/pop band The Crookes played their first ever NYC show at Bowery Electric earlier this week. Prefix sent one of our staff photographers to spend time with the band prior to their set at Bowery Electric to see what a day in the life of The Crookes is like. -

"The Crookes Dance In Colour Song Premiere"

Every now and then, a gaggle of British lads with sharp clothes and cool haircuts lands in the States and reminds us how smart, sprightly rock ‘n’ roll ought to be done.

From the Beatles to the Smiths to the Arctic Monkeys, such invasions have generally left us better off, and next in line to steal jobs from hard-working American musicians are four aptly named descendents of all three: the Crookes. On Oct. 1, their 2012 sophomore effort, ‘Hold Fast,’ finally gets its U.S. release, and is bloody well chuffed to premiere ‘Dance In Colour,’ one of three bonus cuts included on the American version.

While much of ‘Hold Fast’ is, indeed, fast — the kind of bright and buzzy stuff Palma Violets might bang out were they, like the Crookes, English literature graduates — ‘Dance In Colour’ is an outlier. Here, the foursome from Sheffield, England, goes from ghostly ballad to piano-driven spook-soul groover to big and moody post-punk epic.

As guitarist Daniel Hopewell explains, this switched-on shape-shifter grew out of a dance-floor conversation with a remarkably profound Swedish girl.

“We were at an after-party in a club in Gothenburg when a girl came over to me, and assuming I was British, she said, ‘You might smoke in black and white, but you should always dance in colour,’” Hopewell tells “I thought it was a wonderful metaphor for love and life in general and it immediately inspired the song.” -

"Top Albums of 2012; Editors Picks"

1. The Crookes – ‘Hold Fast’ (Fierce Panda) – In the shadow of love – in its electric (2010’s #1, Delphic’s ‘Acolyte’) and nostalgic, life affirming (2011’s #1, Noah and the Whale’s ‘Last Night on Earth’) forms – my #1 this year goes as far back to basics with the good ol’ pop-tinged rock ‘n’ roll of Sheffield’s Crookes. I’ve always thought that the smartest songwriters are those that can write catchy tunes while also offering up thought-provoking, intelligent lyric; guitarist Daniel Hopewell fits this description to a T.

This album would feel equally at home in the 1960s as it does in 2012. There is no studio trickery or fancy production here, just heartfelt (and heartbroken in ‘Maybe in the Dark’) feelings being sung to memorable melodies that can help to remind you of simpler times. Or simply remind you of the important people who have coloured your life. Do yourself a favour and get this album. If you’re not sold yet, read my review of ‘Hold Fast’ here - There Goes The Fear

"The Crookes- Hold Fast"

Lammo’s latest young boys The Crookes return with the excellent Hold Fast, specialising in a 60s-streaked dedication to swooning and a keen attentiveness to upbeat, visceral jangling.

Much more believable and fun in the business of British, grey, romantic longing than gurning monkeys Frankie and the Heartstrings, or weird lopsided-Burberry-adverts-singing-deformed- Smiths-songs The Heartbreaks, The Crookes have humanity, and the tunes firmly on their side.

For a young Sheffield band to sound as promising as The Arctic You-Know-Whos were circa 2006 may yet make up for the latter’s recent, psychotic descent into being overtaken by their precociousness, hero worship and brattish, stinking attitudes.

Opener ‘Afterglow’ is like closing the stable door then feeling the force of the horse bolting through it, The horse of Bonzer Opening Song, that is! With the exception of joyful early mini-album tracks ‘A Collier’s Wife’ and ‘Backstreet Lovers’, Hold Fast is overall less meandering and sounds much more alive than 2011's first album proper Chasing After Ghosts.

They may be too anonymous for the hipster who requires their fave new band to wear wanky, sleevless leather jackets and sing like their tongue is straining to actually burst through their bottom lip, but with a voice as lovely as George Waites’s and buckets of heart streaming from each song, over the past few years The Crookes have been forming a quiet cult of Bright Young Things and a sound if not all their own, almost completely, and far superior to the other doo-
wop wannabes and Libertines-on-the-pier peddlers out there.

Standout “Stars” is an achingly lovely as anything their influences ever gifted us, ‘The I Love You Bridge’ is a gorgeous ode to romance done in this lesser-heard ‘indie style’ I’ve heard so much about that actually works, and ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ is a an expansive, meloncholic crooner that Richard Hawley would have no grounds to balk at. Recent excitable single “Maybe in the Dark” proves they can provide simple, Now That’s What I Call Music Hits as well as more thoughtful balladeering.

The only off-notes are the goofly obvious greaser jam ‘American Girls’ and the borer snoozer ‘Sal Paradise’, but in an album of respectful, controlled bangers in a world seemingly projectile spewing objectionable music 24/7, this is no biggie.

In short, if you have a passing interest in placing your arms in upwardly turned right angles and doing the invisible hoola hoop, this album will pay furious dividends. Surely there can be no higher praise?

Rating: 4 Stars - God Is In The TV

"The Crookes In Session, Sheffield Crucible"

The centre of attention when hosting the Snooker Championships, the focus of a captivated and admiring audience during drama productions; for a little over 40 years, The Crucible has provided some of the most iconic imagery associated with Sheffield...

Today, on the set of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the theatre’s stage rocks not to the sound of “double, double, toil and trouble,” but rather to the sound of The Crookes soaring their way through three tracks of inspired Newpop.

Since the release of the band’s second album, ‘Hold Fast’, many more people have found it impossible not to (as the bold slogan on one of their amps implores) ‘prick up their ears’ and take notice of The Crookes. Their sound is influenced by decades of guitar bands and pop-music, and centuries of literature. Add to this cauldron of inspiration the dramatic intensity of their performance upon The Crucible stage, and The Crookes’ place bathed in those spotlights appears thoroughly deserved.

You’ve just recorded a session in the Crucible. Purely as a venue in which to make music, how did you rate it?

Daniel: Just incredible! That environment suits us as a band. I’ve seen quite a few plays there and just to be on that stage and to look around all the backstage areas and the wardrobe… it was amazing.

Was it an apt location, given the strong literary influences in many of your lyrics?

D: Yeah, it was the perfect platform to showcase those kinds of songs.

George: It was also quite nice just to make a racket in there as well! Whenever I’ve been to the Crucible the atmosphere was always very hushed and reverent, so it was nice just to turn the amps up and kick up a bit of a fuss.

Particularly during ‘Hold Fast’…

G: Yeah! The whole of the Crucible just belonged to us for those four minutes.

R: At one point the camera crew were huddled close around me and I knew that in a second I was going to hit the cymbal so hard. I felt sorry for their poor brains.

Did the setting have an influence on the songs (‘Sal Paradise’, ‘Honey’, ‘Hold Fast’) you chose to play?

D: I think we certainly picked ones that we felt were more pensive. ‘Sal Paradise’ particularly – it’s a melodic, perhaps slightly melancholy song, which I think really suited that environment. ‘Hold Fast’ and ‘Honey’ seemed really intense, sort of dramatic – theatrical even – which just made them perfectly suited to the set.

Moving from one iconic venue to another, on November 24 you’re closing your current tour with a gig at The Leadmill. Will you be doing anything special for the hometown show?

R: We’ve about a week’s gap between the last gig and the Leadmill show; it’s a big venue and there’ll be a lot of people there so I think we have a few ideas of things we’d like to try.

D: Even just the fact we’ll have been touring for two months before then means that we’re going to be firing on all cylinders – it’ll be the best show we’ve ever done in Sheffield, I think.

G: There’s an inherent pressure for any band when you come back to play where it all began, and that makes you take it up a gear. Plus, playing an iconic venue where we used to stand queuing outside in the cold, reading the names of bands on the posters thinking that would never be us, we can’t do anything less than play one of the best shows we’ve ever played.

Does that involve you ending up shirtless on-stage? It seems to happen a lot!

G: It wouldn’t be a Newpop show if there wasn’t any nudity!

R: Maybe I’ll just do it naked. If it sells out, I’ll do it naked…

That’s on record…?

D: Russell’s always looking for sound-bites, that’s his thing.

R: I’m just looking for excuses to get naked.

Tom: It was going to sell out until you said that! No one’s coming now.

R: Anyone who wants to see a tall, skinny man take his clothes off and sweat for 45 minutes, come to the Leadmill show.

R: we can’t end on that…

The album 'Hold Fast' is out now. The Crookes are currently on tour.
- Exposed magazine

"The Crookes - New Band Of The Day"

Hometown: Sheffield.

The lineup: George Waite, Alex Saunders, Daniel Hopewell, Russell Bates.

The background: Sheffield hasn't really been Sheffield since Warp left for London and the scruffy indie racket of Arctic Monkeys became the sound of the city, rather than the sleek electro and urban(e) white funk of Human League and Heaven 17. There was talk last year of a new wave of synth acts and laptop popsters emerging from the South Yorks quarter, with names such as Pygmy Globetrotters, Darlings of the Splitscreen, Hiem and Kings Have Long Arms, but little has been heard of them since. Meanwhile, the hills – Sheffield is built on seven of them, like Rome – are alive with the sound of bands such as the Crookes, a four-square trad-indie outfit purveying guitar tunes with the usual ramshackle charm. They're not quite as gritty and hard as the Monkeys. They're more like one of those urchin folk-inflected collectives such as Larrikin Love (RIP) or even Noah & the Whale, with hints of the winsome, lose-some C86 brigade, the Smiths at their twee-est (say, circa The Boy With the Thorn in His Side), the plaintive jangle of the Housemartins, even Belle and Sebastian. Their songs are mellow and cheery, and as such will also be compared to the groups from Postcard by people who missed the whole acerbic, adroit point of that wonderful label. They sound like a band out of time, singing sepia-tinged romantic tales, laced with harmonicas, banjos and toy guitars, with titles such as Backstreet Lovers and Two Drifters, sung with soaring abandon by a young man with ambitions to be regarded as a poet ruffian.

The band may not be very Sheffield but they are quite Crookes – Crookes is a suburb, not far from the city centre, set high on a hill, full of students, ex-students or teachers. It's very bohemian and arty, with bookshops, galleries, parks and coffee bars. You can imagine the four members of the band – none of whom come from there, but who met while studying English literature at the university – drifting lazily around the area. They'd be carrying books of poetry and sheafs of lyrics under their arms, a sort of middle-class version of the grittier Monkeys lads. They're already all over the indie radio stations' playlists like a jaunty, jingly-jangly rash, even though they have yet to get an official release. Despite the fact their songs don't feature any banging or clattering, blips or bleeps, they're obviously going to have an appeal for a certain type of indie-rock fan. Did we say Luddite? Who, us?

The buzz: "The Crookes have ambition and flare, as well as a singer with a beautiful voice; one of those special, poetic voices which dips and soars above their jangling guitars."

The truth: If you like rousing drinkalongs that feature lines such as "when she left, she left me reeling", and "tonight, the city's ours, la-di-da", you'll be in heaven, or better still, Crookes. Take the 52 bus from the town centre.

Most likely to: Strum their way into your hearts, if not write a song as chillingly perfect as the League's Open Your Heart.

Least likely to: Change their name to the Hunters Bar or the Sharrow Vale.

What to buy: Debut single Chorus of Fools is released on 14 September, as that month's contribution to the Too Pure Singles Club.

File next to: Larrikin Love, Arctic Monkeys, the Libertines, the Housemartins.
- The Guardian

"The Crookes Band Of The Week"

With a band name like The Crookes, it’s understandable to conjure up the image of a band of scruffy, rebel-rousing, hard-drinking young hoodlums stirring up mischief and banging out angst-driven punk rock songs. But instead, this Sheffield-based band delivers retro pop rock blended with elements of the C86 sound of the post punk era.

The Crookes first caught our attention some time ago with their second single, “Chorus of Fools,” a jingle-jangle tune with an infectious beat and rhythm, topped with just a touch of indie folk pop, and sprinkled with lyrics born out of English kitchen-sink literature. The band’s overall sound is decidedly The Smiths, Orange Juice, Coral, The Arctic Monkeys, and early Libertines. With the continuous flood of new wave synth acts seemingly coming far and wide, The Crookes offer a refreshing escape into the realm of bliss pop.

This summer, the band released their sophomore LP, Hold Fast, which demonstrates their love for mixing elements of alternative rock, post punk and heavily melodic indie pop/post punk as demonstrated on songs like “Where Did Our Love Go?,” and “Maybe in the Dark.”

“Maybe in the Dark” - The Crookes from Hold Fast

Watch the music video for “Maybe in the Dark.” The built in Yahoo streamer should pop open a window on the page. The Crookes official YouTube page features a total of more than 800,000 views.

In addition to a string of well-received singles, The Crookes raised their profile in the U.K. and Europe over the past couple of years by endlessly touring, hitting all the major U.K. and European cities with enthusiastic crowds to greet them. But they have yet to break-through in the U.S. Perhaps one song from the LP that aims to change that is the catchy track, “American Girls,” although it’s not among the top three standout songs on Hold Fast (listen to the entire album via Spotify).

“American Girls” – The Crookes from Hold Fast

For fans of jangly guitars, soaring vocals and light pop tracks with tinges of alternative rock, British style, the album is an enjoyable listening experience. The title track, “Hold Fast” and “Afterglow” (watch video above) are some of the more energetic, toe-tappers on the album, featuring high octane synths riffs and ‘ooh ooh’ sing along choruses. More tamed and deep, the spectacular track, “Sal Paradise,” shows off the band’s penchant for retro pop rock.

“Sal Paradise” - The Crookes from Hold Fast

The Crookes’ Debut EP and LP Set the Stage for Their Popularity in the U.K. and Europe

The single “Chorus of Fools,” was released as a single from the band’s October 2010 release, Dreams of Another Day, an EP that raised the band’s profile in Europe and the UK, and started the momentum that snowballed in 2011 after The Crookes were featured as a Band of the Day in the The Guardian. On BBC Radio 1, popular deejay Steve Lamacq, who proclaimed in 2011 that The Crookes were his ‘favourite British band of the year,” described the band as having “ambition and flare and a singer with a beautiful voice; one of those special, poetic voices which dips and soars above their jangling guitars.”

“Chorus of Fools” – The Crookes from Chasing After Ghosts (2011)

The band’s 2009 debut double single , A Collier’s Wife/By The Seine, released through the Too Pure Singles Club (part of the Beggars’ Group label), was the fastest selling single ever for Too Pure, with all pre-orders selling out in a matter of days. But together with their 2010 debut EP, Dream of Another Day and especially their debut album, Chasing After Ghosts, released in March of 2011, that really got the ball rolling.

“Back Street Lovers” - The Crookes from Dreams of Another Day (2010)

“Yes Yes, We’re Magicians” (demo) – The Crookes from Dreams of Another Day (2010)

In the spirit of the season, here is a rare 2009 Christmas single, “It’s Just Not Christmas Without You,” from the band, which was not part of an official release. The song comes courtesy of ‘the Rolling Stone magazine of the U.K.,’ New Musical Express (commonly referred to as NME), which was one of the publications that initially helped launch the band into the spotlight on the U.K. indie music scene.

“It’s Just Not Christmas Without You” – The Crookes (2009) - Indie Rock Cafe

"Album review - The Crookes - Hold Fast"

I remember when I first queued up the Crookes’ 2011 debut ‘Chasing After Ghosts’ with baited breath after the brilliance of ‘Backstreet Lovers’ on their ‘Dreaming of Another Day’ EP. They haven’t changed their sound so much to the point of unrecognisable from their previous releases; what they have done is started playing and writing smarter, both instrumentally and lyrically, and made by my job as a blog editor infinitely better. I’ll be honest, I don’t commend bands lyrically unless they go above and beyond the call of duty, but I think given the band’s campaign to bring “NEW POP” to every corner of the globe and to do it in such an accessible way that allows them to still convey their message through words that actually mean something (what a concept!) deserves a special commendation.
With complaints far and wide that guitar rock is dead, ‘Hold Fast’ flies in the face of these ill-begotten rumours and grins widely. But what’s behind that Cheshire cat smile? I alluded to this paradox in my single review of ‘Maybe in the Dark’, the second single released from the album, and maybe this says something about the parentage of ‘Hold Fast’. While I liked ‘Chasing After Ghosts’, there was a wintry chill in the air when you listened to the tracks that made you ache inside, full of emotion, when you listened to it; I remember crying to the words “you and me / were fated to be / so damn blue” from ‘Chorus of Fools’. Coupled with a late March release, the album was a sleeper if there ever was one. The underlying sadness of many of the songs reminded me of the grittiness of the North and how the struggles of life there makes one hard. A lot of gloom, despair, unfair situations and death pervaded the previous album. As if to counter those feelings, ‘Hold Fast’ is filled with sunlight and can be viewed as the Crookes’ summertime album, an album that as I mentioned is more accessible than their last. Hopefully this will finally break them into the big time.
Instead of the doom and gloom of ‘Chasing…’, this album is more about relationships and sex. I must have been giving the theme of this review too much thought, because after a while, even the title of song ‘Afterglow’ started to take on sexual overtones. But, to my relief and frankly, to lyricist Daniel Hopewell’s credit, it’s tastefully done and might mean something else entirely: while using the word “afterglow” to mean a whole lot of different things, I’ve teased out that the song plays on the fact that we all have memories we keep of the people who have left for one reason or another, and we should cherish those memories. “Lose yourself in lights and we’ll always have tonight” and I’m taken back to every single gig I’ve covered as a blogger, and I would imagine many TGTF readers will similarly relate to both the song and the driving melody, echoing the excitement of witnessing a live concert. This, along with ‘Maybe in the Dark’ and the title track, are fast paced corkers sure to get dancing feet all festival season long, as well as providing drummer Russell Bates a workout.
But let’s go back to wistfulness in the lyrics of ‘Afterglow’: “when did my friends slip right through my fingers / and you, you were all I ever knew”. This echoed later in ‘Sofie’, when singer George Waite begs, “I’m thinking of you, Sofie, it’s you…promise me you’ll try and stay happy / and I’ll promise I’ll do the same / promise me you’ll try”. Yearning and innocence. You were expecting something else, weren’t you? Forget salaciousness. It’s just not here. Starry-eyed lovers framed in idealised relationships and those have lost them (‘Where Did Our Love Go?’), yes; I have trouble detecting even borderline offensiveness with the way the Crookes are talking about relationships. With the popularity of the groanworthy Fifty Shades of Grey ‘book’, manufactured bands singing about sex and rappers who beat up their girlfriends and still storm the charts, this is a refreshing change. I’d also like to note that in this day and age of overblown production, the songs on ‘Hold Fast’ are as simple as a guitar band can record them under a young indie band’s budget. There is a price to this forced frugality, however: there is an overdone echoey quality to both ‘American Girls’ and ‘The Cooler King’, though I suppose one could argue maybe these two numbers were recorded lo-fi specifically to match the early recordings of the Beatles? I do wonder.
The echo effect sounds fab on album closer ‘The I Love You Bridge’; However, the star of this show is third track ‘Stars’, with the lyrics taking a page from Oscar Wilde’s famous quote “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”, speaking of being penniless, yet still completely happy together. Waite says in the chorus, “tell me how the stars still smile on us / and make the world disappear? / tell me in the darkness / stars still smile on us / tell me that you’re dancing just because / and whispered softly in my ear / tell me in the da - There Goes The Fear

"The Crookes/New Album"

They’re a dying breed are bands like The Crookes, making romantic rock ‘n’ roll the old-fashioned way. This lovestruck lot wear their hearts on their sleeves, and they sure has hell don’t hide their hooks. ‘Hold Fast’ is easily their finest work yet, from the hormone-fuelled thrills of ‘Afterglow’ to the startling sincerity of ‘The I Love You Bridge’. Is it ground-breaking? No. But The Crookes are rare in that they’re neither pretentious nor cynical. They’re using old-school approaches to write high calibre pop with unquestionable flair. It’s a pity there aren’t more bands writing songs as timeless as these.

Robert Cooke - The Fly Magazine

"The Crookes/New Album"

They’re a dying breed are bands like The Crookes, making romantic rock ‘n’ roll the old-fashioned way. This lovestruck lot wear their hearts on their sleeves, and they sure has hell don’t hide their hooks. ‘Hold Fast’ is easily their finest work yet, from the hormone-fuelled thrills of ‘Afterglow’ to the startling sincerity of ‘The I Love You Bridge’. Is it ground-breaking? No. But The Crookes are rare in that they’re neither pretentious nor cynical. They’re using old-school approaches to write high calibre pop with unquestionable flair. It’s a pity there aren’t more bands writing songs as timeless as these.

Robert Cooke - The Fly Magazine

"The Crookes - Hold Fast (Album Review)"

Fresh-faced Sheffield lads The Crookes are releasing their second album ‘Hold Fast’ through Fierce Panda this July. Even though their debut ‘Chasing After Ghosts’ received plenty of favourable reviews, excited numerous devoted fans and was described as "this good, the band are unlikely to remain obscure for long," their break-through didn’t, in fact, happen. Maybe because of a certain guitar ennui in the UK, maybe because the album was a little premature.

However, follow-up ‘Hold Fast’ aims to change all that. Kicking off with the energetic and utterly vivacious ‘Afterglow’ the band shows that they haven’t lost their youthful exuberance, which is exemplified by the thundering drum power and accelerated chords. The song could become a bona-fide dancefloor hit in the vein of Arctic Monkeys or similar rock-pop wonders, it’s thoroughly enjoyable and tremendously danceable.

Their aesthetic of smart pop for a discerning crowd continues with ‘Stars’ – a song that best showcases singer George Waite’s warm and distinct voice. It’s a heartfelt tale enhanced by Beatles-esque instrumentation. Mid-way through the album, pop paean ‘American Girls’ is a slow starter but picks up pace soon enough to morph into a marching The Jam-like stomper. However, it’s slightly repetitive at some points. Follower ‘The Cooler King’ doo-wops its way around a cheerful shanty landscape but the song could sharpen its interaction between rhythm section and vocals. Lead track ‘Hold Fast’ is another highlight presenting the listener with a sped-up, blissed-out indie hymn that adulates The Crookes’ self-styled image as “four teddy boys in Battersea”.

Finally, The Crookes have managed to create a homogenous and varied album that might have fit better into the 60s but is nonetheless utterly listenable with its characteristically retro feel, abundance of jangly guitars and soaring vocals. Framed by vibrant harmonies and perfect pop, The Crookes definitely deserve their break-through this time around.
Rating: 7/10 -

"Album review - The Crookes - Hold Fast"

After bursting onto the British indie music scene back in 2009, the Sheffield romantics are back with their new album Hold Fast. With the loss of guitarist Alex Saunders the bands line-up includes new member Tom Dakin, The Crookes haven’t lost their charm however with their follow-up album to their rated debut Chasing After Ghosts.

The first single released and the ignition of their second album Afterglow is a corker and you’re hooked after the first opening seconds with the quick tap drums smashing through to their addictive indie riff. Euphoric lyrics of living off the joy of happy days that have been joined with the “oh oh oh’s” create a warm song, that will have you repeating it for a very long time.

The album continues with the indie romanticism with Maybe In The Dark, a lyrically witty track with lines such as “Maybe you’re right, just for tonight. But your clumsy kiss won’t taste so clever.” The fourth track, American Girls, changes the pace with the chilling acapella from vocalist George Waite drawing you in to produce a track reminiscent of 50s/60s American rock. This continues in The Cooler King including the claps and yelps of would be 50s American bar crowd.

Title track Hold Fast is a track that truly divulges The Crookes’ talent, with heart on sleeve lyrics and catchy sounds, which breaks down before the final chorus with finesse and style which I’d be impressed if you could sit still through.

Out of the closing tracks off the album, Sal Paradise brings the pace down to a sunset engorged tune, flowing easily and enjoyable to the end without realisation. The closer is the clincher; The I Love You Bridge is beautifully unpolished and raw, separating them from clichéd indie pop. The lyrics are down to earth and relatable which draws the curtain for the album with a humble but powerful atmosphere.

Hold Fast is an album that requires more than one listen for it’s more hidden joys on some of the tracks, and the more upbeat sounds such as Afterglow are instantly favourites producing a diverse and fun album. The boys may not be revolutionary, but what they do is good, really good!

Standout track – The I Love You Bridge

Verdict:•••• -

"Where Are All The Great New Guitar Bands"

The Crookes are an incredibly erudite band with literary influences that make them stand apart from other people. - BBC News website

"Steve Lamacq - Taking Stock"

Sheffield, Sunday night, and the sky over the Peaks resembles the dark skies over the Dales in Channel 4's version of David Peace's Red Riding trilogy. Standing in the dimly lit street which houses The Leadmill - the city's most famous indie venue - it actually feels like you could be back in the '70s. I scan the road up to the traffic lights looking for Ford Cortinas and Triumph Heralds to emerge through the drizzle.

Inside The Stock Room, which lurks next door to The Leadmill, it's a different story. Twenty years ago, when it was a down at heel pub, we used to come here on Sunday mornings to drink away our hangovers en route to the train station and the return trip to London. It was a desperate place. Swapping stories of the gig the night before - legendary Leadmill shows we'd be reviewing for NME - we looked like death and drank cheap cider.

Tonight though, this IS the gig! Since it's reinvention as the Stock Room, the once nicotine-stained bars have been transformed into one cosy room which tonight plays host to The Crookes - who are the reason we're here.

The Crookes are thoroughly Sheffield (they are even named after the part of Sheffield where they live). Drawn here by university, they have found a spiritual home (it has a kitchen sink at one end and a view of the hills at the other). Crookes are young, faintly dashing and fresh of face. Judging by tonight's initially nervous set, they also have no fear.

At one point they even unplug their instruments and step forward into the no-man's land between the 'stage' and the audience and perform an acoustic song capable of melting steel.

They suggest, at various points, images of The Smiths and Larrikin Love, early Orange Juice and historically, as I attempt to explain to them later, long-lost Sheffield popsters Treebound Story. (Another memory: the first time I came to Sheffield in the '80s I saw TS, Richard Hawley's first band, at a place called The Limit wrapped up in quiffs and Johnny Marr guitar lines).

The Crookes are more fragile though. So much so that you'd like to cosset them away for six months in a rehearsal room before laying them before the critics. But they have ambition and flare and a singer with a beautiful voice; one of those special, poetic voices which dips and soars above their jangling guitars.

They experiment with harmonicas and banjos and toy guitars and smile the smile of an unsullied group still finding their niche with thrillingly romantic songs like Backstreet Lovers and Two Drifters.

You wouldn't want to have to follow them, which is precisely what Little Glitches point out when they start their set. Me, I didn't even know LG were on the bill till I arrived, but they present a great foil to Crookes' winsome pop jamboree.

I don't think I've seen four blokes - which is what they are - so relaxed and engaging for ages. There is no image, no agenda and no pigeonhole (even trying to squeeze them into a box with Elbow or The Bees would be fruitless). But there are some gorgeous guitar-lines and great harmonies; some shuffly drums and roving bass movements. And halfway through their set, it strikes me that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else on my week off but here in a Sheffield bar - at a FREE gig - on a Sunday evening in the company of people enjoying their music THIS much. - Steve Lamacq BBC 6Music

"Lessons from SXSW"

Lesser-known British band The Crookes have a sound bound to please fans of Vampire Weekend—somewhere between The Smiths and a '50s prom band. Their entire set was filled with Coldplay-esque ear-friendly songs, but the standout moment came when the four-piece descended from the stage at the British Music Embassy and played an unplugged and nearly a cappella finale. With the faint, unamplified strum of ukulele and acoustic guitar and rhythmic stomping and clapping, The Crookes' final song stopped the chattery crowd dead in its tracks. The simple, nearly silent moment was awe-inspiring and a welcome break from the nonstop noise of most shows.
WATCH: The Crookes "Yes, Yes We're Magicians" -

"The Crookes - Steel City Barbershop Blues"

Sheffielders are an adorably entrepreneurial bunch. They're always coming up with nifty way's the earn a quick buck in hard times. If they're not getting their willies out in front of red-faced, screaming women in working men's clubs, or rebirthing Brit-rock as something visceral and vital for the first time in yonks, they're harnessing the grace and guts of old-time swing and woozy Barbershop harmonies - packaging it up as the latest indie-disco bread'n'butter. Basically we're talking Vincent Vincent and The Villains and Some Songs You Might Actually Remember. - Jamie Hodgson - NME.Com

"MTV Canada - Visit Britain"

Well, wouldn't you know, the sun decided to come out in full-force today for our tour of Sheffield with the Crookes.The Crookes, the lovely gentlemen that they are, spent the whole day with us today driving us around to their favourite spots in the city.
The day started with a bite at the Greedy Greek Deli, where the boys often went for lunch together while at Sheffield University (where they had all met about a year ago). The owners were ecstatic to have us over and even packed us baklavas to go.

Next on the agenda, was a stop at the Bear Pit in the gorgeous Botanical Gardens. They actually have a song about the Bear Pit called "Yes, Yes" and there is a legendary story that took place there.

We climbed in, and the boys played us a special acoustic performance of their song, "Backstreet Lover". The full In The Raw performance will air during our British week special, Nov 23, on MTV News.
Since we hadn't ate in about an hour, we made our next stop at Granelli's Sweet Shop. I got my first dose of a real classic British sweets shop here, and got to sample the fudge, wine gums, and acid drops (not real acid, obviously, more like lemon, and so addictively delicious).
Then, it was off to the Grindstone Pub, located on Crookes... Ah ha! Yep, the guys got their name from passing the street sign hung on the exterior of the pub. They saw the name Crookes and it just stuck.

The vibe at the Grindstone inside was really lovely. Everywhere we've gone in Sheffield, the people have been so nice- absolute friendliness is the theme of the game here. Also, a glass of wine was only 2 pounds 50 pence, which is less than 5 dollars Canadian. So I can see why this is a popular student pub, the prices are just right.

Before we knew it, the sun was setting, and we made our plan to do a little bit of bar hopping. First, was the Grapes where the Arctic Monkeys made their live debut, The Boardwalk where Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys and Jon McClure from Reverend and the Makers bartended as well as where The Clash and the Sex Pistols (back when they were called The Black Swan) held legendary shifts, and the Harley where The Crookes have played about 10 times.

Tomorrow, we hit the Botanical and Winter Gardens, University of Sheffield, and the Yellow Arch Studio where a lot of artists here record.
Trip Info:
The Crookes:
Sheffield Botanical Gardens:
Granelli's Sweet Shop
Greedy Greek Deli:
The Boardwalk:
The Harley:
The Grindstone
The Grapes
Posted By: Sharlene
Posted By: Laura
I love the crookes! I wish i'd seen them too!!
Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:47pm
Posted By: Mark
yep, I've seen them at the boardwalk before
Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:44pm
Posted By: john
have the crookes ever played at the boardwalk???
Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:41pm
Bear Pit
Posted By: Sue
Wish I'd took a walk through the park that day - such a talented band with a great sound!
Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:00am
sweet shop
Posted By: Ash
i walked past you when you were outside Granelli's!
Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:22am - MTV Canada News Blog


A Colliers Wife b/w By The Seine 7" vinyl (Too Pure Singles Club)
Bloodshot Days b/w Through The Cats Whisker 7" vinyl and download (Heist Or Hit Records)
Yes, Yes, We're Magicians -track on Zip It Up compilation on Fierce Panda
Dreams Of Another Day EP - 7 track EP (Fierce Panda Records)
Chasing After Ghosts - Album released on Fierce Panda Records in UK and Europe and Vinyl Junkie in Japan
Godless Girl 7" on Fierce Panda Records
Chorus Of Fools 7" on Fierce Panda Records
I Remember Moonlight 7" on Fierce Panda Records
Afterglow 7" Fierce Panda - May 2012
Hold Fast - CD, Album, download - Fierce Panda July 2012
Maybe In The Dark - download - Fierce Panda July 2012
Bear's Blood/Dance In Colour - Fierce Panda 7" 2013
Hold Fast CD/Vinyl - US issue on Modern Outsider Records Oct 2013

Tracks are streamed on Facebook, Last FM, Soundcloud and Myspace
All releases have enjoyed extensive play on BBCRadio 6Music as well as additional exposure on BBC radio 1 and 2 and various world wide commercial stations. The videos for Afterglow and Maybe In The Dark were both put on rotation on various SKY TV Music Stations.
Afterglow was purchased by Sears for a lengthy advertising campaign in November 2012
Brooklyn Vegan streaming videos for Bear's Blood and Dance In Colour
Diffuser.FM streaming Bear's Blood single
Hold Fast has been released in Japan (Vinyl Junkie) and in October 2013 in US (Modern Outsider) it is currently streaming on Under The Radar blog.
Bear's Blood charted at #5 in FMQB SubModern singles chart
Hold fast charted at #7 in FMQB SubModern album chart



The Crookes are at the forefront of the latest wave of music to surface in the UK. They are four English Literature graduates whose music is bound with storytelling and tinged with nostalgia. Described by NYLON magazine as the 'potential leaders of England's smart, taut NEW POP movement' they personify English charm and eloquent, intelligent songwriting.

Following the success of their debut album Chasing After Ghosts (2011) the band have built up a strong Cult following known as the “Bright Young Things” which further consolidates the strong aesthetic of the band. The band were chosen by Burberry to perform for their Burberry Acoustic range, as well as The Art of the Trench range. They were also taken out to Tokyo to represent the brand for Vogue's Fashion Night Out.

Following a slight line-up change in 2011 the band have now consolidated their more mature sound resulting in the release of their critically acclaimed second LP "HOLD FAST" in 2012.
"HOLD FAST" was released in the US and Canada in 2013. A well received short visit to New York to play at The Bowery and Union Hall as well as a flurry of press and session appearances followed.

The Crookes have already garnered heaps of praise amongst the media and industry. They have been tipped by Steve Lamacq as one of the 3 best guitar bands in the UK right now poised to re-invigorate guitar pop as a tour de force in UK music.
They have performed multiple live sessions on Radio's 1,2,4,5 and 6 in the UK as well as being play listed on stations throughout Europe, Asia and South America and being chosen by MTV Canada to represent emerging music from the UK.

They are kings of romance (an important part of the New Pop brewing around the UK)... There is something almost subversive about their odd mix of influences (The Smiths/’60s girl groups/’50s rock and roll)... It’s the romance of the Seine, of walking in the Peaks; or lying on your back reading and daydreaming."

Steve Lamacq

"Every now and then, a gaggle of British lads with sharp clothes and cool haircuts lands in the States and reminds us how smart, sprightly rock ‘n’ roll ought to be done.
From the Beatles to the Smiths to the Arctic Monkeys, such invasions have generally left us better off, and next in line to steal jobs from hard-working American musicians are four aptly named descendents of all three: the Crookes"

"...a band this good are unlikely to remain obscure"


"Lovingly, lavishly layered...the four piece take a big step forward. Not a second of these 33 watertight minutes are wasted."

Hold Fast album review
Q Magazine

"The simple, nearly silent moment was awe-inspiring and a welcome break from the nonstop noise of most shows. "
SXSW review, Impact News-Austin.

Band Members