Mabel Love face the unenviable task of keeping a growing crowd entertained between the surprisingly good unknowns, The Velotones, and the band that everyone’s actually here for, local boy wonders The Crookes. It’s not that Mabel Love are necessarily bad, but they are a little disappointing, particularly considering how much busy it is for a Union gig.
Everybody moves forward as The Crookes walk on, the cheers supporting their growing reputation as a brilliantly charismatic band. By the time they crack out fan-favourite ‘Godless Girl’ the crowd are going wild, and singing along to nearly every note.
Alongside highlights from debut album Chasing After Ghosts we’re treated to ‘A Collier’s Wife’, which comes accompanied with a striking light show. Before The Crookes launch into the catchy ‘I Remember Moonlight’, they take the time to announce, much to the delight to the crowd, that they’ve begun recording their second album that very day.
They’re also surprisingly apologetic; as if expectant that they’re performance is sub-par (they needn’t be, it’s not). It’s only newest member Tom’s second ever gig after guitarist Alex Saunders left recently, but they perform so tightly as a unit that it’s impossible to tell.
After the traditional clickalong during ‘Yes, Yes, We’re Magicians’ it seems a real disappearing act occurs; the crowd seems to practically evaporate into thin air, something that doesn’t bode well for The Whip.
It’s not that their set is weak or that they’re not a particularly popular band; it’s just that the Sheffield crowd knows what they want, and they’ve already had it before they even come on stage. There’s a large difference between The Crookes’ Romantic indie-pop and The Whip’s bass-heavy electronica, and it’s a strange line-up all in all.
Those who have stuck around, though, have no trouble getting into The Whip. There’s a chance that, by the time, a healthy amount of alcohol has been drunk to get the social inhibitions lowered. Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves as flashing lights break through the mysterious smoke onstage during ‘Intensity’, one of the tracks from new album ‘Wired Together’.
Despite the set feeling a little short, it seems to build up to a climax as the three-piece end on their biggest song, ‘Trash’. While we’ll never know whether the topless guy at the front clapping along on somebody’s shoulders was a real fan, or just knew the song from that Coors Light advert, it’s pretty obvious that The Whip aren’t a band that are easily forgotten.