The Crookes & Hey Sholay @ The Harley 1/5/2012
Two of the finest bands our beloved Sheffield has to offer team up for a free gig at an intimate venue – it’s a more mouth-watering prospect than The Harley's burger menu.
“It’s fucking hot in here!” says Hey Sholay’s Liam, acknowledging the packed out Harley’s tropical climate. Thankfully, this doesn’t appear to be adversely affecting the band – the soon to be released new single ‘Burning’ is majestic, whilst old favourites ‘Wishbone’ and ‘Dreamboat’ are played with an intensity which contrasts starkly with the undeservedly tepid crowd – let’s give them a warmer welcome next time, folks. An unfortunate wardrobe malfunction denies us the promised crowd surf ("I'm worried my Goolies might pop out"), but as Liam bellows the repeated refrain to ‘The Bears, the Clocks, the Bees’, it’s obvious that it won’t be long before he gets the chance to be carried around much larger venues.
It was probably to Hey Sholay’s detriment that many of the crowd appear to be here for one band only – no pressure on the Crookes’ lads, then. They don’t so much warm the crowd into their set as create a furnace with recent single ‘Afterglow’ duly followed by fans' favourites ‘Chorus of Fools’ and ‘A Colliers Wife’. Singer George is on form as well, lauding the “manliest chant ever at a Crookes gig” and even offering out free vodka from the stage (“it’s our tactic to get people to push forward”). New track ‘American Girls’ leaves us anticipating a poppier direction on the band’s upcoming second album, and they even slip Manchester City anthem ‘Blue Moon’ into the set – “we’re not saying we support City, but just hate everything to do with Man Utd.”
Set closer ‘Yes, Yes, We Are Magicians’ – as well as ushering in a comeback for the fine art of finger-clicking – remains probably the Crookes’ finest hour, and they only have to do half the work as the crowd sing them out; “Thank you, we’ll be at the back selling all our possessions.” And so they were, chatting with fans and generally being all round nice blokes. Take advantage of them while you can – a band this good surely won’t be able to hang around the foosball table after a gig for much longer.
Words by Lewis Parker