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Outlines 2017: The Crookes interview

Henry Lewis caught up with the four piece to talk about Sheffield's best features, new music and classic pop tunes.

Henry Lewis

Date published: 24th Feb 2017

The Crookes are one of a long list of Sheffield indie exports, along with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Reverend and the Makers and heaps more. The four-piece met in the city and formed in 2008, and have gone on to release four studio albums along with an extended EP Dreams Of Another Day. 

Their last full-length effort Lucky Ones, was released via their own label, Anywhere Records, which gave the band the full control they so richly deserved and desired.

Proud purveyors of the three minute pop tune, The Crookes' back catalogue has offered plenty of variation but with hooks aplenty and jangling riffs at the heart of the music.

Ahead of their show at Outlines Festival 2017, we caught up with the four piece to talk about mammoth tours, Outlines' sister festival Tramlines and Sheffield's finest features.

You performed a massive 150 shows last year, decent effort! What were the highlights? 

It was a crazy year! There were a lot of highlights; supporting Catfish and The Bottlemen on their sold-out UK tour, appearing at SXSW for our fourth time, playing our first shows in the Pacific Northwest and touring our super festive Christmas special show in December, to name a few. 

What makes Outlines and Tramlines so special for you? 

The best thing about both festivals is the way the city gets flooded with people and there's that carnival atmosphere. They book great bands and our Tramlines shows over the years all rank in our favourite ever so we can't wait to play Outlines this year. 

What makes Sheffield such a perfect city for a festival?

It's full of brilliant bands to begin with, which helps. The quality of venues like the Leadmill and Queens Social Club makes Sheffield a great host city and the people here are always up for a party. 

Who else on the bill at Outlines has caught your eye? Slow Club, 

Slow ClubThe Orielles and Harkin have all got sets that we're eager to catch.

Aside from festivals, what are Sheffield’s most charming features as a city?

The Peak District is on our doorstep, which is such a great part of living here. We've got some brilliant pubs down in Kelham Island and the music scene is always very lively.

It also has a happy knack of some producing some quality bands, who’s caught your eyes and ears in Sheffield recently?

Hot Soles are a force to be reckoned with. If you have a chance to see them live, make sure you take it! 

How are you finding having your own label ? Was that an avenue you always intended to go down?

It's really good being able to be our own bosses and decide for ourselves where we want the band to go next, but it can be scary sometimes. It wasn't a route we had planned a long time ago, we just thought forming the label was the best thing to do for Lucky Ones. Our next step might be different again, you never know.

New music wise, I believe you’re writing at the moment? How’s that going? You offer fairly varied styles across your albums but all centred around the classic pop song, can we expect more of the same from you guys?

We're working hard on new material, which is gradually taking shape. We won't be abandoning the concept of the classic pop song anytime soon, but we don't ever want to repeat ourselves so we're trying to innovate within the constraints of that idea. It's often a bit of a surprise to us as to how the songs ultimately turn out, so we'll see what happens. 

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