On the last day of The Great Escape festival, we caught up with Sheffield-based new pop rockers The Crookes down a deserted alley behind The Hope pub in Brighton.
But fortunately, it was more ‘Backstreet Lovers’ than a backstreet mugging…
All: Very good, thank you!
BE: We just watched your gig and really enjoyed it… minus a few small sound glitches!!
Russell Bates: Not our problem!
Daniel Hopewell: Don’t bring that up!
RB: We have no idea on stage how people are perceiving our sound in the audience, so we just carried on playing but thankfully our fantastic sound engineer told us to stop playing.
George Waite: Sometimes he says that when there’s no sound problems!
Mark Wood: Have you guys played The Great Escape festival before? What do you think of it so far?
DH: We have, we’ve actually played Brighton six or seven times before I think… every time we been before it’s been really sunny so I think we got a wrong impression of it as a beautiful paradise of a city… we really like it.
BE: We last spoke to you back in December at the Queen’s Social Club and you mentioned how you got a better vibe from people in mainland Europe and they generally get your music a lot better, do you feel that’s changed since December?
DH: We’ve only done two shows since December actually… but both the shows have been really busy.
BE: We’ve been into a few record shops around here in Brighton and noticed that they actually have some of your older singles in them!
GW: Not sold yet then?
DH: Were they in the bargain bin by any chance?!
MW: No, but they were nearby, so be careful!
BE: We’ve heard a couple of songs that are to be on your forthcoming album ‘Hold Fast’, are these a good indicator of what we can expect from the album?
GW: It’s mainly pop music so… the kind of three-minute pop songs you’ve heard so far are a good indication of what will be on the album…
DH: I think one song is over three minutes!
RB: How did that slip through the net?!
GW: It’s ten songs and I think it lasts about thirty-one minutes.
BE: That’s a shame! I wanted more!
RB: Put it on repeat! It works quite well as a package, more so than anything else we’ve recorded…
DH: The strange thing was that with the last album, we said that we wanted to make it a cohesive album… but this time we said we wanted to make it ten singles. But funnily enough it is like that, but more of an album as well. It flows nicely.
MW: We saw you were assembling a choir for one of your forthcoming b-sides…
DH: Choir is a loose term!
MW: How did it go in the end and where did the idea for it come from?
GW: It was amazing, the Bright Young Things choir were amazing, it was the best thing about it. We’d been doing other things during the day and getting ready for them to come to our practice room, so we got loads of beer and stuff in for them for when they arrived. But as the day went on, when we were practising we kind of drank all the beer… and by the time that they had got here I’d forgotten a lot of the words to the song we were recording…
DH: They were angry, really angry!
GW: And they booed me when I forgot the lyrics! I’ve just got thirty people in front of me, just booing me!
MW: No respect!
GW: But we haven’t heard the end results yet so I’ve just got my fingers crossed that I didn’t forget too many of the lyrics.
DH: We didn’t take it too seriously, it was a bit of fun.
MW: We noticed that you’re launching your album on Pledge Music and we just wanted to know how’s that going and would you recommend it to other bands to launch their material?
RB: The album is being released through the label Fierce Panda which is who we’ve done everything with, but I think being able to break away from…
*Dan’s beer mysteriously fizzes everywhere for no reason*
GW: Jesus Christ! (pointing to Russell) He’s giving a serious speech here!
RB: Yeah, I think being able to do it on your own terms and not having to wait for someone to give you money to do something… It gives us the ability to do what we want which is the most important thing.
MW: Have you sold any gigs in people’s houses yet?
RB: I think we have, yeah…
DH: One’s in Germany isn’t it? Oh, two in Germany so far!
GW: So we’re moving to Germany! That’s the exclusive, we’ve moving to Germany.
BE: Are you looking forward to playing five-aside football, that was one of your pledges as well wasn’t it?!
GW: I think we’ve got a football in the van haven’t we? If you fancy a game? 4 on 2!
BE: You’ve been down at The Great Escape for a couple of days now, what bands have you seen or are there any bands you’re looking forward to seeing today?
GW: Mostly the bands that we’ve seen have been a bit rubbish…
RB: Howler were quite good.
GW: Yeah I was surprised, I thought it would be packed…
Tom Dakin: We wanted to see Hey Sholay this afternoon but we couldn’t because we were still getting all our gear out (of the venue).
BE: Same here, it was packed in there and then the heat in the venue hits you…
RB: It’s like a sauna!
BE: Are you seeing any bands today? What are your plans?
GW: We’re going to try and see as many bands as we can this evening, we’ve been busy all day but I think there’s a few in there like Fanzine, Paul Thomas Saunders…
TD: Loney Dear, Perfume Genius, Admiral Fallow…
RB: There you go!
DH: Tom loves new music…
BE: He’s the music diary!
TD: I’ve got them written on the inside of my hand…
MW: So how is the summer looking for you guys? Have you got any festival dates booked yet?
DH: Yeah, I think we’re going to have one every weekend hopefully…
GW: It’s busy!
RB: We’re trying to get one every weekend of June, July and August and it’s getting there… there’s things we can’t announce yet but we’re going to be… everywhere!
DH: It’s exciting stuff!
BE: Just to finish off, we’re going to be interviewing fellow Sheffield band Hey Sholay later, we were just wondering if you had a message for them or if there’s anything we should know about them?
GW: Ask them if we can have any of their Cocaine.
DH: They’ve also got a prostitute in their van…
RB: They keep her in there and just lock her up!
MW: We’ll call the Police.
BE: Right, thank you The Crookes and have a good year!