This Crookes article was written by Paul Stimpson, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.
Homecoming gigs, large or small, are always special occasions. The energy in the room is ten times that of a standard gig, because everyone in the crowd has stories and memories of the band that used to knock around the Crookesmoor area of Sheffield, and have now sold out the Leadmill.
One fan remarks how they saw them at the Grapes pub seven years ago, the same pub where the Arctic Monkeys launched their career.
The Crookes come on stage to ‘You Give A Little Love’ from the Bugsy Malone movie, a routine start to a Crookes gig that gets the Sheffield crowd bouncing and boisterously singing along.
They launch into ‘’Where Did Our Love Go’ and it becomes apparent why the band are so revered in these parts. George Waite’s voice is so naturally melodic, it begs comparisons to Morrissey. ‘’It’s good to be home Sheffield,’’ says George after he lets the crowd sing the last chorus back to him.
Staying with 2012 album ’Hold Fast,’ they waste no time in ripping through ‘Maybe in the Dark’ and ‘Sofie,’ with the latter forcing George to lose composure and smile uncontrollably at the incredible crowd response.
George introduces ‘The World Is Waiting’ as a song from the new album ‘Lucky Ones’ to a rapturous reception. He jokes that previous cities had no idea they had a new album out – not here though, every word of every song is yelled by the crowd.
After a couple of numbers from the new record, TheCrookes take us back to 2011 with fan favourite‘’Chorus Of Fools’ prompting the crowd to start an impromptu chant: ‘’The Crookes, The Crookes, The Crookes are on fire.’’
‘’We haven’t played to a crowd this loud in a long, long time,’’ says George, with the crowd in the palm of his hand.
The Crookes bring support act Misty Miller on the stage for melancholic acoustic ballad ‘Ex-Lovers’ – she gets a huge reception, partly due to her set earlier on in the night which featured a cover of One Direction’s ‘Steal My Girl,’ and an emphatic closing song ‘Best Friend.’
‘Backstreet Lovers,’ introduced as an old song the Crookes’ first played eight years ago, and ’I Wanna Waste My Time On You’ close the main set, with a pinch revelry as balloons are released into the crowd.
The band return for an encore within seconds. ‘Yes Yes, We Are Magicians’ is a treat for the homecoming crowd, who overpower George for the first part of the song. ’Afterglow’ completes the encore, with the band clearly reluctant to leave the stage. It feels like the crowd are embracing the Crookes with an unconditional love, with no thought about how many records they sell or how different they sound – they will always be one of Sheffield’s favourite bands.
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