People say that you should never meet your heroes. These people probably never got the chance to meet theirs because when I met The Crookes, we had a right good laugh.
On the afternoon prior to their Edinburgh gig at The Liquid Room, we were lucky enough to catch an interview with lead singer George and guitarist Daniel.
True to popular belief, they proved their reputation of being the nicest group in the music industry.
The Crookes have been simmering with success for some seven years now, in which the Northern lads have stayed true to their roots with their feet firmly set on the ground in the fine city of Sheffield.
Now, with the release of their fourth album ‘Lucky Ones’ in January 2016, the four-piece have the chance to support Glasgow rockers The Fratellis on their UK Tour.
The Crookes stride up on stage with pure confidence, with lead guitarist Tom Dakin immediately drowning out the squeal of four lads in the middle of the crowd shouting something along the lines of “Chelsea Dagger” (I think) with an echoing guitar riff bellowing around the room.
For people in the crowd unaware of The Crookes’ musical talents, this was the perfect way to immediately resonate thoughts around the crowd of, “These guys are good.”
With the stage presence of a panther, lead singer and bassist George Waite manoeuvres his body around the stage with an infectious movement of his head from side to side – which causes two chaps in front of us to bash heads.
Giving the crowd a taste of what’s to come from their upcoming album ‘Lucky Ones’, the band glide into two earlier tracks from their third album ‘Maybe in The Dark’ and ‘Sofie’.
The refreshing professionalism of The Crookes gained through years of experience on stage, is apparent through how musically tight the band are. Even with new recruit Adam Crofts joining on drums just three months prior to the tour; the band’s synchronicity is as concrete as Jean Claude Van Damme’s right bicep.
Their on-stage experience also shows during romantically-infused pop track ‘Sofie’, as Waite’s bass cuts out; Dakin quickly springs into action and fiddles with the electric leads as Waite screams “Oh!” as his faithful axe booms back into play.
As Waite takes a break and thanks the crowd, one of the lads in the middle try their luck at a laugh again by shouting, in a thick Scottish accent, something along the lines of, “Oi, Chelsea Dagger, mate!”
Showing a true frontman’s class, Waite responds with, “Anyone have any idea what he just said?”. Receiving a resounding laugh around the room, a quick nod to drummer Adam Crofts sees the band see off a perfect set with their hook-from-heaven track ‘Afterglow’.
It’s clear to see why The Crookes were chosen to support The Fratellis, as the energy is now circulating amongst the crowd.
As the rooms now fills, the lights dim and the crowd screams as frontman Jon Fratelli, dressed all in black with a black top hat, strolls on stage resembling a young Johnny Depp.
Followed by the rest of the band, The Fratellis kick off their set with latest single ‘Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!’. Immediately, the whole lower section of the audience appear to lose their minds and jump around in every direction.
With a quick smirk and a nod to the audience, needing no more introduction, Jon Fratelli glides into tracks ‘Henrietta’ and ‘Flathead’ from their outrageously popular debut album ‘Costello Music’.
The Fratellis seem to have the perfect formula, musically and lyrically, to make a crowd bounce. So as the floor literally begins to move beneath us, we make our way to the balcony area.
As the crowd surfers try and fail to reach the front barrier, the band slow things down with heart-warming melodically pleasing tune ‘Imposters (Little by Little)’. The slower track obviously didn’t impress the four mouthy gents from The Crookes’ set, as one of them is now upstairs next to us with his shirt removed clapping at a wall.
In his raspy, Glaswegian accent, Jon Fratelli tells the crowd a story of how they started the band 10 years ago and thanks them for, “Keeping them in a job for the last decade.”
Pointing with respect around the room, the band wave to the crowd and depart the stage, but the audience are smarter than they look – except that fellow stood next to us who is now clapping at a chair. The rest know what’s coming, that career-defining ultimate encore.
Jon Fratelli and his gang hit the stage once more. As the drums kick in, the frontman tips his hat to one side, and looks over at a thousand smiling faces who are oh-so ready for Chelsea and her Dagger.
Tim Harfield is a PR Executive and writer in Edinburgh
Photographs by John Harfield