Heavily inspired by 80s indie, the current ‘New-Pop’ Movement is gathering momentum, incorporating bands such as Hatcham Social, The Heartbreaks and tonight’s band, The Crookes. This is a collection of bands that owe everything to Postcard Records, The Smiths and C86. Often being able to pick out bands’ influences so distinctly can lead to criticism, but that would be unfair here, as classic British guitar-pop is as important now as it has ever been.

To begin the night, a local band, Boots Booklovers, showed us that British guitar-pop is not going to die out anytime soon. With a similar set of influences to those listed above, armed with quirky song titles and great shirts, Boots Booklovers could have a very bright future ahead of them. Shortly afterwards, The Crookes’ permanent tour buddies, Hey Sholay, played an energetic set of catchy, synth-influenced pop numbers, that were fun but nothing to write home about.

With two full LPs and one EP to their name, The Crookes are never short of songs to play. On Saturday, they played a set that sampled heavily from recent album, ‘Hold Fast’, including singles ‘Afterglow’ and ‘Maybe In The Dark’. Lead singer, George Waite, has arguably one of the best voices in indie music at the moment, which is best demonstrated on slower songs such as ‘The I Love You Bridge’. However, what The Crookes do best is create fast-paced jangly guitar-pop in tandem with intelligent lyrics and infectious basslines. For this reason, it was set closer and first single, ‘Backstreet Lovers’ that stood out from the rest. It is one of those songs that is impossible not to dance to, and the vast majority of the audience duly obliged.

With The Crookes’ brand of Smiths-influenced pop music, it is difficult to go wrong. They aren’t groundbreaking, but nor do they think they are. Yet still, their songs sound so fresh. If we learned anything from the night, it was that British guitar music is still going strong, and The Crookes are certainly leading the way.

Alex Neely

…Alex has been listening to The Charlatans – Some Friendly…

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