Fight Club – The Crookes vs Hey Sholay

The latest instalment of our musical battle sees a clash of steel against steel, as two of Sheffield’s finest exponents of that rock ‘n’ roll malarkey – The Crookes and Hey Sholay – step into the ring… well, sort of.
The Weigh In
When we spoke, the Crookes’ George had just got his fringe to sit in the perfect position for the day, so him donning his fighting gear and ruining all that hard work was a non-starter. Therefore, we have the Fierce Panda  label-mates putting their skills as trainers to the test, each selecting five of their influences whom they feel have what it takes to fight for their honour. You can listen to the respective line-ups below, and a few of the fighters have certainly taken us by surprise – however, it could be the ability to unleash something unexpected that ultimately gives one band the edge here.

The Fight
From the off it’s Team Hey Sholay on top, as they send out Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ to compete with Wreckless Eric’s ‘Whole Wide World’. The cockney punk brings a certain idiosyncratic charm to the bout, and he’s developed a bit of a cult following who are roaring their support, but ultimately His Royal Badness is able to pack a lot more punch in those purple gloves of his, even if he is having to jump to land a few of them! Round one to Hey Sholay then, but the Crookes choose to send out a big name fighter of their own for the next scrap, with Springsteen’s ‘Ain’t Good Enough For You’ sent out to tackle Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’. The latter has that instantly recognisable riff that is able to land some painful looking blows but, ultimately, nothing can keep the Boss’ infectious melody knocked down, and his experience shows in the end as he takes the round on points.

Hey Sholay don’t let the defeat get to them though, and immediately hit back; ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is relentless, landing blow after blow to the face of Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Sparky’s Dream’ which, sadly, seems just too laid-back in the face of such aggressive opposition. The next round stays true to the see-saw nature of this fight however, with the Crookes’ choice of ‘Easy/Lucky/Free’ by Bright Eyes proving enchanting to the crowd, and it’s ethereal qualities are able to draw in the plodding, dinosaur rock of Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ and land a series of telling punches that the aging rockers lack the stamina or nous to compete with.

As it is, the final round is all set to be a thrilling tie-breaker; New Order are looking confident in the ring, ready to unleash ‘Regret’ on whichever choice Hey Sholay throw at them… ‘Let’s Get Lost’ by Chet Baker. This is a surprise to say the least, and the crowd are a little dumbfounded. I find it appropriate to quote New Order’s late former label boss Tony Wilson at this point: “Jazz musicians enjoy themselves more than anyone listening to them does,” and the crowd seem to agree, turning on Team Hey Sholay, who have been left stricken by their choice. It looks like their gamble hasn’t paid off, and the fight ends with an early knock-out – you can’t fault Team Hey Sholay for being bold, but it’s a shame they tried to settle this bout by playing the jazz card. I imagine there’ll be a thorough investigation by the Exposed Musical Fight authorities as to whether they threw this one on purpose – it’s a big money business this metaphorical boxing, you know.
The Verdict: Team Crookes – 9/10; Team Hey Sholay – 8/10.
The Crookes completed a thrilling fight back after a couple of early setbacks, whilst Hey Sholay’s choices just fell at the final hurdle but I reckon we can all agree that they proved worthy competitors.
Now then, if you fancy seeing these two fantastic bands in less competitive circumstances (we hope!), then get yourself down to the Harley on Tuesday the 1st of May where they’ll be playing for absolutely free! Doors are at 7.30pm, but I wouldn’t expect arriving at 7.25 is the best course of action to take. It’s going to be a good ‘un – I’ll see you at the front!
Words by Lewis Parker

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