The record-label Fierce Panda has had a reputation since 1994, a very good one as a spawning ground for tomorrow's big-selling artists. Coldplay, Supergrass, Ash, Death Cab For Cutie, The Polyphonic Spree, The Bluetones and The Crookes have all benefitted from having either exclusive singles or compilation tracks released on the London-based imprint.
The titles of some of those EPs and various artist compilations are even worse (or better) than some of the puns I've used for news headlines. "Songs About Plucking", "Screecher Comforts", "Cry Me a Liver", "Dark Side of the Raccoon" - whatever they're drinking, slide a glass of it over here please [no, please don't! - Ed]. Thankfully, that last band I mentioned above have issued a relatively sensibly-titled debut album in the form of "Chasing After Ghosts", released in March.
Yes folks, Sheffield's The Crookes may just be Fierce Panda's next 'discovery', although the band has previously unleashed a swath of singles over the past two years, including "Godless Girl" and the most-recent "Chorus of Fools". If you wish The Smiths were still around and Morrissey had a bit more tact and diplomacy, then they might have sounded a wee bit like The Crookes. Steve Lamacq has given them love on his show, Richard Hawley has raved about them and, well, they're rather good and jangly. And we all like a bit of a jangle, right?
So their UK tour could prove to be the ticket of the autumn, with the first date earmarked for York on 4th October, followed by Stoke, Cardiff, Manchester etc until Nottingham on the 18th. Tickets went on sale this morning (with the exception of the Manchester Factory date - on sale at modnight tonight!), priced from £5/6!!! There's a London date in the mix - The Borderline on 11th (£8) and to whet your appetite, check out the rather epic and nifty tune, "City of Lights" on the player above!