By Sam Kay

When Joy Crookes announced that she was having her headline show last month, we immediately bought our tickets – because we knew that these would sell out QUICKLY but also that she would out an AMAZING performance and boy! she did not in anyway disappoint us.

Boy, were we right on the money.

Crookes has got magazines, blogs, and radio all talking about her (including us, who placed her on our #NWDHotlist 2017 basis of just two singles). She has been featured in Notion Magazine and has begun showing her fashion-killa game while gaining more success through her music. She’s performed at RADAR (Music Connex x ILuvlive) and recently supported Sinead Harnett. Her headline show was held at Corsica Studio’s and Crooks quickly highlighted this moment as a milestone in her career especially as it is so close to ‘home’. For a small venue, it was already packed with fans, from industry insiders to young and old to friends and family members, Crooks had one the best crowds to perform to that night.

Sunken opened the night performing their own original tracks. The upcoming band showcased their talent within their one hour set live performance with an hour long set. The group consists of a singer Poppy Billingham, guitarist Finn Billingham, Sax/Keys/Guitar, Finn Boxer, Bass Mackenzie Jamieson & Drums Jonah Winslet. The group opened the night with their track ‘Swoon’, before having a long set of tracks that. Their sound has a mixture of alternative rock and indie soul that’s chilled, soothing and relaxing. The group also used the opportunity to announce their major release coming out in the autumn.

It was an anticipation of false alarm and hype about Joy Crookes. Even her Grandmother was standing right in front of us. Slowly and gradually friends, family and loved ones merged to the right-hand side of the stage whilst photographers were standing on the left. All we can hear in the discussions (and whilst talking to people) was high praises of the singer and last minute reassurances that tonight was HER night. Her growth, her maturity, her love and her passion all shined through every song. Her music has been described as a shot Amy Winehouse with a spice of Lana Del Rey. Her mother was behind in full glory looking fabulous and stylish, which we can get where Joy gets her fashion tips from. It was a blessing to first hand how Crookes’ music is already touching hearts and creating a fan base of strong female & male fans who range across all ethnicities.

 

Finally, when the band was set up, the projector changed to the official premiere of Crookes’ third music video ‘Power’. Our thoughts? Beautifully directed, artistically driven with the cinematography and strongly delivering the message of the song. ‘Power’ is one of Crookes strongest singles yet, as it dives into the Venus-Joan-of-Arc spirit that lives in all of the females. Once the video was finished, chants of Crookes’ name began to emerge and increase as the band begun to play

Crookes continued to glow with her olive tan skin and trademark plaits that have red ribbons intertwined in them. Setting herself apart with her style, Crookes’ went in to perform her debut ‘Sinatra’, which saw the audience reciting every lyric of the song…and that didn’t stop. She later did her covers including a Roots Manuva’s track where her soothing vocals were perfect against the reggae beat. Reggae was one of the genres that were an influence on her music and love for it whilst growing up.

This reminds us to snip through the accompanied lyric book that was sold as merchandise for her ‘Influence’ EP Launch. Browsing through makes us understand Crookes a little better. She’s a lover of art from Finda Pinto and her musical influences range from Young Marble Giants, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, The Clash to Kendrick Lamar. She mentioned that ‘her dad played a lot of reggae music whilst growing up especially reggae’ surrounded by types of vinyl of the biggest artists of their time, as well as iconic greats.

Unapologetic about her roots, she performs original ‘Elephant & Castle’, stating her insecurities made based on her residence and the reputation that it has. Nevertheless, she claps back stating that ‘there are hidden and beautiful things…they have the sickest bowling ally that hasn’t been changed for the last 20 years.’  In a humble manner, we spotted Kojey Radical in the audience – one of the UK’s popular individualist rappers. He was in her music video ‘Bad Feeling’. and came to perform and support the star. She even did a set where she showed her instrumental abilities, as she played the guitar for her track ‘Don’t Let Me Down.’

With all of the bravos and applauses, Crookes announces that she was on her last song. Whilst going off the stage, the audience were resilient in chanting for ‘one more song’, Despite being spontaneous, Crookes delivered and performed for the first time at her headline ‘Power’. She held back tears as it is still a disbelief for a dream that she’s being tirelessly working for. Ms Crookes, this going to be first of many. It isn’t long now before you’ll be selling out arenas, going on tours and winning awards – even if it’s a BRIT.

Yep, we’re seeing the diamonds in the sky for this South Soul artist.

Oh, and by the way, we brought her lyric book – and got Crookes’ autograph in it.

‘Influence’ is available to purchase and stream on iTunes, Spotify, and other digital platforms. 

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