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  • Writer's pictureDanny C

Crushed, Sneaky Pete's Edinburgh 27/06/24

My second visit to Sneaky’s in less than a week but flying solo this time and after some bus-faffing (not my fault) I got there in time to catch some of the support, Sacul’s last few songs and hearing them made me wish I’d got in sooner for the full set. An incredible voice and great tunes channeling some powerful new wave, synth-pop sounds (especially the finale, Parasailor). Definitely worth a listen and watching out for future appearances which I’ll be checking out.

As Crushed had travelled to Edinburgh for a very limited UK tour all the way from the west coast of the States (L.A. / Texas I think?) and not knowing when they’d be over next I didn’t want to miss the chance to see them here, especially in one of my favourite small Edinburgh venues, Sneaky Pete’s (I might’ve already said in previous blogs how good this place is?). Not the biggest crowd for a mid-weeker but even as Glastonbury starts, and their attendances outnumbered this gig by a ratio of maybe 3,000 to 1, given how Glasto’s been getting a bit of attention for their mainstream headliners this year - Coldplay, Dua Lipa, New Model Army etc - I know where I’d prefer to be (hint: not in a muddy field drinking overpriced cider and howling at the moon for several hundred quid a ticket).

Avoiding the quagmires of Somerset, I did have to dodge an indoor river as the aircon seemed to be leaking across floor in front of the stage, but with the Sneaky Pete’s ground staff’s admirable efforts and quickly on the case, there was no half-time call off for waterlogged pit(ch).

Crushed are excellent but difficult to pin down with an easy to describe style – mixing well curated samples with alternating jangly and heavy 90’s indie guitar, but Sneaky Pete’s own advertising of the gig - suggesting for fans of The Sundays or Cocteau Twins - sums it up well, although I’d add with the clever use of sampling it reminded me at times of The Eels too. Not a bad mix in anyone’s book.

Their live sound is much more concentrated than recorded and what came across more on the night was lead singer, Bre Morell’s voice, layered over the music very effectively and reminded me at times of the great Harriet Wheeler of Sundays fame. As a relatively new band early in their career their sound will develop, and I hope they play to the strength that Bre’s vocals give to their sound.

 The first half of the set had a familiar pattern where songs didn’t seem to have a clear ending, with loops and feedback drawing the songs on, then switching without break into the next tune. Not a bad thing but didn’t give the crowd much chance to jump in and applaud to show as much appreciation as they deserved! That said, when one piece of sampling seemed to cause extra challenges and got in the way of moving onto the next song, it did give Bre a chance to chat with the crowd a bit and share some thoughts about how much she was enjoying Edinburgh, touring and life with Crushed in general. In mentioning they would definitely be back, hopefully in the new year, I’ve got my fingers crossed that they remember how great Edinburgh is and make sure we’re on their schedule again.

Technical hitch over and back into the rest of their set, which included a mix of current and new material entertained the crowd for neat 45 minutes. This meant heading out into near-daylight just before 10pm, which is fine by me on a mid-week gig, although more bus-drama part way home (bam-squad having a go at the driver/ passengers having a go at bam squad/ bus getting battered/ bam-squad having a go at have-a-go passengers/ police called to incident for statements) meant it took about an hour longer than would’ve for a standard Sneaky’s curfew finish. On the plus side, that gave me a chance to listen to more Crushed on the way home for longer. Check them out - I think you’ll find your new band-crush in Crushed! @crushedworldwide  @saculmusic   

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