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(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Live Gig Video: The Crookes get dirty and dusty in ‘The World is Waiting’

By on Monday, 11th January 2016 at 4:00 pm

Last summer, The Crookes announced they were starting their own label, Anywhere Records, and 2016 sees their own first release with their new venture. ‘Lucky Ones’ will be out on the 29th of January on Anywhere Records and Modern Outsider in the US, which is fortuitous timing, as they’ve been announced to appear for a fourth time in Austin in SXSW 2016 in March.

They revealed the new LP’s first single ‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’ last September; watch the video for the single in this previous Video of the Moment feature. The second single to be unveiled from the album ‘The World is Waiting’, which fits into the new release’s upbeat nature. Filmed in someone’s back garden, this happy feeling is mirrored in the party atmosphere in the song’s accompanying promo, in drinks, fags and…colored dust? Yes, really. Watch it below.

The Crookes will be out on the road in the UK in February to support ‘Lucky Ones’ prior to SXSW. Read our extensive archive on the Crookes on TGTF this way.



The Crookes / February 2016 UK Tour

By on Wednesday, 4th November 2015 at 8:00 am

Sheffield indie pop quartet the Crookes have just announced a massive list of UK tour dates for next February. These follow November 2015 live dates supporting the Fratellis.  The tour will include a show at the London Oslo on the 24th of February before wrapping up with a hometown date at the Sheffield Leadmill on the 27th of the month.

The February dates will come just after the release of the Crookes’ fourth LP ‘Lucky Ones’, which is due out on the 29th of January via Anywhere Records in the UK and Modern Outsider in America.  The Crookes are scheduled to visit America in March next year for SXSW 2016.

Tickets for the following shows are available now.  A full listing of upcoming live dates for the Crookes can be found on their official Web site.  TGTF’s archive of coverage on the Crookes, including a review of their recent single ‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’, can be found right back here.

Saturday 30th January 2016 – Scunthorpe Cafe Indiependent
Monday 1st February 2016 – Lincoln Engine Shed
Tuesday 2nd February 2016 – Nottingham Bodega
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 – Leeds Wardrobe
Thursday 4th February 2016 – Stoke Sugarmill
Friday 5th February 2016 – Birmingham Rainbow
Saturday 6th February 2016 – Leicester Soundhouse
Sunday 7th February 2016 – Norwich Studio Waterfront
Tuesday 9th February 2016 – Doncaster Diamond Live
Wednesday 10th February 2016 – Hull Adelphi
Thursday 11th February 2016 – Derby Radar Love Venue
Friday 12th February 2016 – York Duchess
Saturday 13th February 2016 – Newcastle Think Tank
Sunday 14th February 2016 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Tuesday 16th February 2016 – Preston Blitz
Wednesday 17th February 2016 – Bristol Louisiana
Thursday 18th February 2016 – Cardiff Globe
Friday 19th February 2016 – Liverpool Studio 2
Saturday 20th February 2016 – Manchester Sound Control
Sunday 21st February 2016 – Southampton Talking Heads
Tuesday 23rd February 2016 – Brighton Hope and Ruin
Wednesday 24th February 2016 – London Oslo
Thursday 25th February 2016 – Kingston New Slang Hippodrome
Saturday 27th February 2016 – Sheffield Leadmill


Video of the Moment #1938: The Crookes

By on Thursday, 22nd October 2015 at 6:00 pm

One constant in a blogger’s world when it comes to live shows is the pushy stage mum (or dad). You can always pick them out in the crowd for their overzealousness, or sometimes you don’t need to pick them out at all, as they head straight for you once they know you run a famous music Web site…

In The Crookes‘ new promo for their latest revealed track, new single ‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’, the band from Sheffield take the said pushy stage dad / manager presence in their life and observe his behaviour from home life to the stage. Even funnier, their stage dad reminds me of the leopard print-wearing dad-dancer from Blossoms‘ Green Door Store performance Saturday night at the Great Escape 2015, hilarious. Watch the promo below.

‘Lucky Ones’, the Crookes’ fourth album and their first on their own Sheffield-based Anywhere Records label, will be out on the 29th of January in the UK and also on the same day on Austin’s Modern Outsider in North America. We’ve written a fair bit on the Crookes on TGTF (have a look), and Carrie’s just done an interview with guitarist / lyricist Daniel Hopewell earlier this month.



Interview: Daniel Hopewell of The Crookes (Part 2)

By on Wednesday, 14th October 2015 at 11:00 am

If you missed part 1 of my interview with the Crookes’ guitarist and lyricist Daniel Hopewell, you can catch up with that right back here.  In this second part of the interview, Hopewell talks about how the Crookes’ American tour last year and their subsequent time at home in Sheffield shaped the sound of their new album ‘Lucky Ones’.

The recording of this album was quite different from what you had done when you recorded your previous album ‘Soapbox’, where you all kind of decamped to the middle of nowhere in Italy.
Yeah. We did that in a way because our producer was getting a new studio, and that wasn’t ready yet. When we were in Italy, there were a few occasions when we were doing ‘Soapbox’ where we kind of thought, we really we should have [different instruments or sounds] but we couldn’t, because we didn’t have them there. [In the new studio] we had all the gadgets and all the toys and we kind of just played with them and experimented. I enjoyed doing this album far more than any of the other ones, I think we all said that. It was the most enjoyable time in the studio we’ve ever had.

I think [this album is] really different. I’m not sure if everyone would say the same or not. The same kind of key elements are there. It’s always going to be George singing, and he always sings in a certain way. I’m always going to write lyrics that are kind of, at least I try to be thought-provoking in them. I want to have them say something. But it’s just a lot happier, if that makes sense. When I wrote ‘Soapbox’ I was in a bit of a bad place. I look back at it now, and I don’t even feel very attached to it as an album. I feel quite distanced from it. We wrote this one, a lot of the ideas, whilst we were touring America, and having just the most fun we’ve ever had. So, I was really happy when I wrote this. It’s a really happy album.

That was actually the next question I wanted to ask you, whether it was inspired by touring in America. I read part of your American tour diary, and the lyrics to ‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’ seemed to be sort of in that same vein.
Yeah, a lot of the lyrics came from things that happened over there, but weirdly, I think this album is a lot more English, if that makes sense. I never feel more English than when I’m outside of England. Being over there so much, although it gave us loads of inspiration, it still kind of reminded us of the fact that at heart we are just very British guys, and I think it sounds a lot more like that than of the other albums too. It’s got a bit of a narrative throughout the whole album that starts at home, in terms of the tracklisting, and then kind of runs away to all these different places, then it comes back again. It’s got a nice symmetry to it in that sense, I think. People who listen to an album and listen to the lyrics, listen to how it flows, and listen to it as a whole rather than just a collection of singles [will find] that sort of narrative journey that goes through it.

I’ve talked to several musicians about that concept of writing an album, versus writing 10 singles and shoving them together. People don’t really buy albums for the entirety of an album anymore, that’s not the way people consume their music.
No, I don’t think they do. And it’s kind of a shame, because I think we all grew up listening to albums, and in the modern world people seem to just want to go on YouTube and listen to a song and then go on to the next. So [as a songwriter] you’ve got to kind of think about that, because people might not give it the sort of attention it deserves as a whole body of work. But we always try and write it as that, that’s how it’s meant to be listened to. Any of these songs on any of our other albums would stand out, by a long way. They belong to this album only, if that makes sense.

So, here’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while. As the lyricist, you write these lyrics, and then you hand them over to George [Waite, Crookes lead singer and bassist] for his interpretation of them. Is it hard for you to write these and then hand them over to someone else?
It’s not hard, because I can’t sing as well as he can. We play to our strengths. George has never written any lyrics as far as I know, and he kind of likes me to write for him. Similarly, I can’t get my ideas out [vocally], so I kind of rely on him to do that. It’s like a songwriting partnership, that’s always what it’s been between us. A lot of people seem surprised by it, but we’ve been doing it for so long now that I kind of forget that it’s not the normal thing to do. But yeah, I enjoy it. Whenever I write something, whatever it is, whether he’s singing it and thinking about something else, people listen to him and take their own meaning. I think once I’ve written it, it kind of belongs to whoever listens to it, or whoever uses it, so whatever I mean doesn’t really matter anymore. It’s what people take from it that I think is more important.

People will always interpret it the way they want to, whether you intended it that way or not.
Yeah, but I think there will be less of that on this album. The only song on ‘Soapbox’ that I really like is a song called ‘Holy Innocents’. It was the last one that we wrote, and I wrote it really quickly, went downstairs and played it to George, then we went round Tom’s place and put it on piano, and we’d done the whole thing in an afternoon. And I really liked it because you knew exactly what it was about, and I wasn’t trying to hide things. And on this album, I’ve tried to go with that, I’ve taken that further. I used to sort of triple code everything, so you wouldn’t know what I meant, because I’m sort of shy about saying it, and it would have been hard for people to see that. But this time, I just wanted you to sort of know what it’s about straight away. I think people might relate to it a bit more, maybe.

So maybe a little more straightforward. Your lyrics have in the past been sometimes a little obscure.
I still can’t help it. I still kind of put things together in a way that I think sounds interesting or has nice imagery. But I’ve just tried to be really honest on this album, and I think the other guys, from their reaction to what I’ve given them, have kind of enjoyed that as well. George can sing it and know exactly what I mean, and really understand what he’s saying. I’m really happy with this one, it’s my favourite by a long way.

It worked out really well, then, that you’re writing these more extroverted lyrics at a time when you’re also able to write larger instrumental arrangements to go with them.
Yeah. We had a conversation [about it], the three of us. We [had done] a Christmas single, and we really enjoyed that because you know when it’s a Christmas single, you can sort of write anything and kind of get away with it and no one’s going to take you too seriously because there’s always a bit of novelty factor in a Christmas single. But I really enjoyed how we did that, because it was just really fun and really happy and we were all in that sort of place, so it slides together nicely [with the new album].

You are, if I understand correctly, about to go on tour with another band called the Fratellis. Will this be the first time you’ve played the new songs live?
We played a new song at Tramlines, played one song there. But this will be a few new ones for the first time, yeah. I’m really looking forward to going out again and playing some of these new songs live. The Fratellis play really big venues, and they’re kind of a guitar band and play kind of upbeat songs, so it’ll work well, I think. We went on tour with Richard Hawley in these amazingly beautiful philharmonic venues and theatres and that kind of thing. That was incredible, but for that set we kind of tailored out the songs we played to suit his audience. We played a few more of the slower songs, that kind of stuff. I think with this tour, we can play upbeat, fast, fun songs. Playing to that many people and playing a bit more like we play our own gigs is going to be fun.

That takes you through to the end of the year, and then the album release is in January, and then probably more touring after that. So for the foreseeable future, it looks like you’re fairly busy.
(laughing) Yeah, yeah, we are. We try and do new stuff in the hope that it keeps us busy. For a while we were kind of just stuck in Sheffield writing. But sometimes music comes out of it. We did a song, the b-side for ‘I Wanna Waste My Time On You’, with a girl called Misty Miller. When we were stuck in Sheffield in our downtime, we were writing a couple of songs that were a bit slower that probably reflected the pace of life. That’s how we ended up working with her, and that came about just because we were here and she was here at the same time.  

It was really nice to write for somebody else, it was quite interesting though, because originally I’d written those lyrics just for George. And then we thought it would be great if we had a girl singer, and we approached Misty. But I was a bit worried because I like to write things from a male perspective where it shows off your emotions and it’s quite vulnerable. But I really hate it in art and movies and films, or television, where you have these male writers projecting females in a way that makes them too vulnerable, if that makes sense. I don’t want to do that thing where the female response is a bit demure. I wanted to empower her more in the conversation. From a sort of feminist perspective, I thought it would be bad to write something that makes her seem weak. That’s kind of the way it was when George was singing it. So I sort of switched a few lines and redid it with that in mind.


I’ll definitely have to give another listen to that song now that I’ve talked with you about it. Sometimes songwriters don’t like to tell too much about what’s behind their songs, but I think that context is sort of important. As a listener, I feel like having that background information makes the songs a little bit more enjoyable to listen to.
Definitely. I love sort of looking at my favourite songs and kind of working out bits, like have you seen ‘Love & Mercy’ the film? It’s like a biography of Brian Wilson. Like most people, I’m obsessed with ‘God Only Knows’, and I’ve read loads of stuff about the lyrics behind that, and the sort of things that inspired him. If you really listen to it through that framework and that knowledge, it kind of takes on more meaning, and you know, I enjoy doing that as well.

Talking about that, what music are you listening to right now? If you weren’t busy with your own, what would you be listening to?
As you Skyped me, I was just listening to Ryan Adams’ Taylor Swift album.  (ICYMI, Adams recently covered Swift’s album ‘1989’ in its entirety.)  You really listen to the words a lot more maybe than you do when it’s Taylor Swift’s version, because it’s so different.  Other than that, I don’t know. I don’t listen to that much new music, to be honest. [Recently] I’ve listened to a lot of New Order, and I’ve listened to The Cure absolutely loads. I read this really good interview with Robert Smith where he was talking about how The Cure had got this reputation for being a bit, sort of gloomy, and then they decided to come back and just write some pop bangers, and I thought that was pretty good inspiration for this album. We had got kind of a bit gloomy and sober, so we thought, let’s just have some fun this time. So, The Cure, Taylor Swift, basically, that’s the mixture. We all like pop music more than anything else.

I’ll be looking forward to hearing the new album in January. It’s on your own label, Anywhere Records, in the UK, but will it still be on Modern Outsider in the U.S.?
Yeah, they’re an amazing label that we want to keep working with. Obviously as we’re based in England, and doing all of Europe, we still want an American label to take care of that side of it. It’s such a big job, we knew how to do it in England, but we didn’t know how to do it over there. We’re massive, massive fans of our label, really like working with them.

Special thanks to Brendan for organizing this interview, and to Daniel for taking the time to chat with me.

Dates for the Crookes’ upcoming tour with the Fratellis can be found on the Crookes’ official Web site. Their fourth LP ‘Lucky Ones’ will be released on Anywhere Records in the UK and Modern Outsider in America on the 29th of January 2016. TGTF’s full archive of coverage on the Crookes can be found by clicking here.


Interview: Daniel Hopewell of The Crookes (Part 1)

By on Tuesday, 13th October 2015 at 11:00 am

While our globetrotting editor Mary was on her recent working holiday in the UK, I had the opportunity for a trans-Atlantic Skype interview with guitarist and lyricist Daniel Hopewell (pictured at far left in the header photo above) from Sheffield indie pop quartet the Crookes. The Crookes have been featured here at TGTF in the past, most recently for their new single ‘I Wanna Waste My Time On You’.  The song marks a bit of a change in direction for the band, and we were curious to find out a little more about what’s behind the new, more expansive Crookes sound.

My last encounter with the Crookes had been in the summer of 2014, when they toured America in support of their third album ‘Soapbox’. Hopewell and I began our Skype chat from there, then made a segue into recent developments with the band and how those have shaped their fourth album ‘Lucky Ones’, which is due for release early next year.

So, the last time you and I met was in Phoenix, I think, last summer.
It was, in the desert, and it was boiling hot, I remember that. I had a really good night there. We ended up going out to these really sort of small bars where everyone was really baffled by the fact that we were there. I enjoyed that, because you know, when you’re in like, New York, and there’s loads of English people, no one bats an eyelid, but then when you turn up somewhere like that, in these kind of…it was kind of like a bar you’d see on ‘True Detective’, that kind of place, and they were just really sort of confused by it.

Yeah, I can see how you guys are maybe sort of a novelty around here.
(laughing) Novelty is the word, yeah. They kept buying us drinks, these sort of tough biker guys kept buying us drinks, it was really nice.

Since the last time I talked with you, the Crookes have undergone a couple of changes?
Yeah, yeah, Russell [Bates, the Crookes’ former drummer] left to get a sort of proper job.

And your new drummer’s name is Adam Crofts. How did you find him?
Surname is Crofts, yeah, but everyone just calls him Croftsy. He played in a band that has supported us a few times, and he came to a lot of our gigs when he wasn’t playing, and we kind of got to know him through that. We thought it would be good to have someone who we knew was an actual fan of the band. I never really watch support bands, because I kind of want to concentrate on what I’m doing, but Tom [Dakin, Crookes’ guitarist] knew him and said he was a fantastic drummer, and he’s also a really nice guy. So he was kind of the first choice, and yeah, he quit his band and we poached him.

Aside from the drumming, what does he bring to the table for the Crookes? Has he affected the way you play in any way?
Yeah, I guess he changes things quite subtly. It’s probably not something that you’d notice unless you were in the band. He’s incredibly tight, [and] it’s down to him a lot to keep things steady, you know, sort of lay the foundation for what we’re playing. He does that really well, it’s been really easy with him.

You’ve also started a new record label, Anywhere Records.
We have, yeah. We’d done three records and a mini-record on Fierce Panda (2010’s ‘Dreaming of Another Day’), and we kind of got to the point where we could sort of do this ourselves. We always liked having control over everything, and Fierce Panda were good for that, but now it’s just down to us, you know? We’re just a very independent band, so it seemed like the logical thing to do, and it was a bit of an adventure as well, so we’re going to give it a go. We’ve got a really good team of people in place who are helping us, so it’s all going well.

And this new album will be your fourth, so it’s not like it’s your first rodeo.
(laughing) Exactly. First rodeo, that’s lovely. But yeah, we know what we’re doing by now. We’ve been going at it for a while and we’re fairly prolific, so we’re lucky to be on our fourth. A lot of bands would be doing it for this long, slaving on a second album, so we’re quite happy.

It’s already album number four, that’s a little hard to believe. You guys do work pretty quickly.
Yeah, we all just do this, it’s our only job, we just write constantly. It’s more something like we have to do, you know? I think that was the thing, Russell never wrote songs, so he never had that feeling of dependency on being able to voice things, whereas the rest of us, we all kind of need to write songs or play guitar, or whatever and songs happen because we have to do it rather than thinking “oh yeah, I want to do that.”

Do you feel like Adam is more on the same page with you in that way?
Yeah, Adam’s an amazing pianist, plays guitar, writes his own songs as well. He didn’t join us until after we’d written this album, but having a fourth person, he obviously chips in with things. I think it will just make the whole process even better.

So it will be interesting to hear what might happen on album number five, then.
Yeah. (laughing) I mean, we’re always going to need a drummer, but it’s nice to have someone who can just play piano really well in case we decide we want to stick some pianos on a track or something.

I hadn’t thought of the Crookes as having a piano in the group, but your new single ‘I Wanna Waste My Time On You’ is a little more instrumentally expansive than what we’ve heard you do in the past.
Yeah. And I think that’s probably relatively limited compared to the full album. We’re quite lucky, the studio we recorded at in Leeds is owned by a guy called Nick [Baines], or Peanut, from the Kaiser Chiefs, if you know that band. He’s their pianist or keyboardist. He had so many synths there that we could just use, so synths are sort of all over the album. (Baines opened the studio earlier this year with Andy Hawkins and the Crookes’ producer Matt Peel.  You can read more about it, courtesy of Impolitikal, right here.

It’s quite different, I think, to what people might be expecting from us, in terms of sound. We got a brass band in for one song, and we had a duet and things like that. We just thought we’d try and do things a bit differently this time, a bit more experimentally. And obviously we didn’t have a drummer, so we had to start with electronic drums and drum machines. Once you start using drum machines to set the foundation of a song, then you want to put synths with it, and we listened to a lot of the Postal Service, a lot of New Order, so it sounds a lot more like that kind of stuff, and probably less guitar heavy. There are two or three songs that I don’t even think have guitars on them.

With the new album not featuring guitars as heavily, where does that leave you and Tom in the live performances? Does it change what you’ll be doing at all?
There are still plenty of guitars [in the live setup]. We’ll have to work out exactly how we’re going to do our live shows. Whether that be simulating synth sounds with pedals or somebody actually playing it, I’m not sure yet. It’s going to be exciting to work out, though!

Check back with us tomorrow for part 2 of my interview with Daniel Hopewell, where we talked more about the writing process for the Crookes’ new album. ‘Lucky Ones’ is due for release on the 29th of January 2016 via Anywhere Records in the UK and via Modern Outsider in America. You can have a look back at our past coverage of the Crookes by clicking here.


Single Review: The Crookes – I Wanna Waste My Time on You

By on Friday, 25th September 2015 at 12:00 pm

“Intelligent pop dreamers” the Crookes have just released the first new single from their upcoming fourth album, and it is, to say the least, a bit of a contrast from the lo-fi indie pop approach we’ve previously heard from Sheffield quartet. The Crookes certainly waste no time diving into ‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’, opening with an expansive barrage of guitars and building to a chorus replete with sonorous backing vocals.

Some familiar elements of the Crookes’ style are still present, most notably the catchy melodicism in the guitar lines and George Waite’s exquisite vocal interpretations of lyricist Daniel Hopewell’s always elegant cynicism. But Hopewell’s lyrics here are markedly less brooding and introspective, describing instead “wanderlust and adventure […] seeing the world, [and] indulging in hedonistic pleasures without once feeling apologetic for it”. This newly extroverted and seemingly carefree thematic material has allowed the Crookes a bit of breathing room to develop their instrumental arrangements, and they have taken full advantage.

Noticably absent in ‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’ is the heavy-handed and decidedly rebellious approach the band took with their third album ‘Soapbox’, as they begged to be taken seriously after the success of previous LP ‘Hold Fast’ and its unabashedly hooky single ‘Afterglow’. Since the release of ‘Soapbox’, the Crookes have undertaken some significant changes, including the departure of drummer Russell Bates and his replacement by Adam Crofts. That bit of business squared away and their seriousness firmly established, the Crookes have moved on to start their own record label, Anywhere Records, as our editor Mary reported in this Video of the Moment feature for the ‘Soapbox’ track ‘Before The Night Falls’.

The sense of freedom afforded by operating under their own label appears to have been exactly what the Crookes needed to re-energise their sound. ‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’ delivers the jolt of excitement and enthusiasm that listeners might need to re-energise their faith in the Crookes.


‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’ is available today on Anywhere Records in the UK and Modern Outsider in America. The Crookes’ fourth album ‘Lucky Ones’ will be released on the 29th of January 2016. The band will play a run of live dates in the UK this November supporting the Fratellis; you can find all the details here. All past coverage of the Crookes on TGTF is this way.


About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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