Belated Blog: Tim Wheeler and The Crookes rehearse for JD Set

First of all, I’m sorry guys.

What with one thing and another as well as internship I just haven’t had the time to update you on how the rehearsals went at the Premise Studios in Hackney on 25.2.11. But what I can tell you was that they owned.

But before I tell you about the awesome time I had, let me tell you about this came about.

I first saw an advert in the NME advertising the JD set in London and that a group of bands and artists, varying in calibre and type would be performing Pixies covers for lucky people who would manage to win a limited amount of tickets. Anyway, went on the website and found I had missed the boat. CURSES! I thought, maybe next year or the Manchester gigs…
But then I found a link that they were looking for a London reporter; and the cogs began to turn

I had to write a short precis on who I would want to interview if given the chance, why would I want to interview them, and what I would ask them. Can’t remember exactly who it was off the top of my head but it was either Thom Yorke, Joshua Homme or Damon Albarn. I do remember getting stuck between those three at least.

Less than three days after I submitted my piece I had found out I won; gig tickets, rehearsal entry, accomodation for both rehearsals and gig, travel expenses for both nights, a camera, and the opportunity to meet one of my idols – Tim Wheeler from Ash.

But anyway, that at least gives you some context about the gig, now for the review itself:

“I set foot in the Premise studios in awe, not knowing what to expect from my day. I had already rushed to check-in my things in the hotel up the road so was a bit flustered to say the least.. Made my way upstairs and opened the door to find The Crookes jamming away.

The Crookes are an upcoming indie band, who fuse a love of The Smiths with kitchen-sink realism. I strongly urge you guys to check them out. Nice lads and nice nice music, sure beats The Vaccines, The Drums and anything else the NME are forcing down out throats these days.

I was first struck but how nice the lads were, they immediately said “hello” as soon as I walked in and sat down, and all the staff were so attentive.

The rehearsals were very tight, yes even for a rehearsal. They repeated one or two songs a few times – but I think maybe it was reverbs were wrong, out of time or something like that.

But there was a notable space missing. I remember eyeing up a beautiful white Gibson to the right of George (lead singer) that was idly leaning next to one of the Marshall amps; I knew that Tim Wheeler was only moments away.

Then he entered, and he gave the band a renewed sense of energy – even though it was already present in spades. We received Wave Of Mutilation in its entirety three glorious times. All run-throughs of that were point en-point and flawless.

And then he looked over and bounded over to say hello, I was never more nervous in my life. Though I tried not show it as I recognised quite a well-known music photographer Debbie Bragg (if you don’t recognise her name you’re bound to recognise her shots; frequently in magazines and websites) also. We discussed all sorts like his recent single volumes with Ash, the setlist for the night, what Emmy the Great was like as I’m a huge fan of her work too, general Pixies stuff and other stuff we liked like Nirvana and Queens of the Stone Age. Ok so he will be the main event for the evening, the host if you will. But it is so obvious he is a huge Pixies fan, their influence is all over Ash and it’s awe-inspiring that this gig isn’t another cash-cow for him; he is doing this cos he is a lover of music pure and simple and that’s just great.”


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