Live Review: The Crookes at Bowery Electric, New York City – 17th September 2013

By on Monday, 23rd September 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

Photos in this TGTF article are by editor-in-chief Mary Chang. Our friend and Prefix Magazine contributing photojournalist Ken Grand-Pierre hung out with the Crookes on the day and took photos of them before and during the show; you can see his amazing photos here.

Sheffield New Pop quartet The Crookes made their American debut at The Bowery Electric in New York City last Tuesday night, and let me just say that I would have hated to be either of the acts (Love Jupiter and Andrew James, for the record) who had to follow their early show. The Crookes’ energetic set lasted just under an hour, and the following acts simply couldn’t meet the exuberant energy they displayed. Even as I write this review, several days after the fact, The Crookes’ infectious songs are still enthusiastically twirling through my head.

The Crookes NYC 2013 1

If lead singer/bassist George Waite seemed slightly nervous on the night, he found a way to engage both the audience and his bandmates via his onstage interactions. The crowd response started out tentative and subdued as well (with the possible exception of yours truly: I dance at gigs, especially to songs as danceable as these), but a small group of hardcore fans helped to warm up the rest. The band wisely stayed close to the studio recordings of their songs, which helped the audience get comfortable with the more familiar tunes. By the time ‘American Girls’ appeared in the set list, the American girls (and boys) on the dance floor were clapping along with the beat, and more than a few fans sang along with the “oh-oh-oh-oh” chorus of ‘Afterglow’. The final song of the set ‘The Cooler King’ was played as a sort of encore, with the band in front of the stage among the audience, who sang, clapped, and harmonised right along with them.

The Crookes NYC 2013 2

I was amazed by how much guitarist/lyricist Daniel Hopewell looks like a very young Neil Finn (Crowded House), and his lyrics are similarly esoteric, by turns broodingly literary and demonstratively emotional. Indeed, if Crowded House were supposed to be the next Beatles, The Crookes could give them an anachronistic run for their money. Waite’s passionate, sensitive voice is the perfect instrument to interpret Hopewell’s lyrics. Guitarist Tom Dakin’s backing harmonies were a lovely surprise (not to mention his playing on those hooky guitar riffs), and Russell Bates’ unrestrained drumming kept my toes tapping and hips shaking throughout the show.

The Crookes NYC 2013 3

After the show, the band hung out in the bar, chatting with fans and selling a small collection of merchandise. Unfortunately, their merch didn’t include CDs, which would undoubtedly have sold, because their most recent album, ‘Hold Fast’ (reviewed by Mary here), hasn’t yet been released in America. American fans, stay tuned for that release on the 1st of October.

While not sounding exactly mainstream, The Crookes’ brand of bright, melodic guitar rock seems tailor-made for American radio. Their live performance on Tuesday night certainly added to the allure. By the end of the show, the frenetic energy of the performance had put The Crookes’ squeaky clean New Pop appearance, along with their audience, into a state of breathless disarray. These guys have some serious talent and some serious heartthrob potential. Lock up your daughters, America…

The Crookes NYC 2013 4

After the cut: the Crookes’ set list.

The Crookes Set List:
Where Did Our Love Go?
Maybe in the Dark
Chorus of Fools
American Girls
Sal Paradise
Bloodshot Days
Sofie
Bear’s Blood
Afterglow
Backstreet Lovers
Honey
The Cooler King (acoustic)

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9 Responses

2:03 pm
23rd September 2013

Live Review: The Crookes’ US debut @TheCrookes @ Bowery Electric @boweryelectric, New York City, 17th September 2013 http://t.co/rZFkgW8aWS

2:05 pm
23rd September 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: The Crookes’ US debut @TheCrookes @ Bowery Electric @boweryelectric, New York City, 17th September 2013 http://t.co/…

2:11 pm
23rd September 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: The Crookes’ US debut @TheCrookes @ Bowery Electric @boweryelectric, New York City, 17th September 2013 http://t.co/…

2:15 pm
23rd September 2013

Carrie reports on The Crookes’ US debut @TheCrookes @ Bowery Electric @boweryelectric in NYC on 17th September 2013 http://t.co/rZFkgW8aWS

2:17 pm
23rd September 2013

RT @tgtf: Carrie reports on The Crookes’ US debut @TheCrookes @ Bowery Electric @boweryelectric in NYC on 17th September 2013 http://t.co/r…

3:45 pm
23rd September 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: The Crookes’ US debut @TheCrookes @ Bowery Electric @boweryelectric, New York City, 17th September 2013 http://t.co/…

8:05 am
24th September 2013

RT @tgtf: Carrie reports on The Crookes’ US debut @TheCrookes @ Bowery Electric @boweryelectric in NYC on 17th September 2013 http://t.co/r…

[…] to the show 2 nights previous at Bowery Electric in the East Village that Carrie captured perfectly in this review, this time the Crookes weren’t headlining but the second support band to local band Los […]

[…] tag team coverage of the Crookes’ visit to New York included Carrie’s review of their Bowery Electric show the day after this BreakThruLive session and on guitarist Daniel Hopewell’s birthday, and my […]

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