Gig review: Crazy P at The Wardrobe, Leeds

Crazy P. Picture: David Hodgson
Crazy P. Picture: David Hodgson
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Reviews of live gigs can be so indulgent at times, looking for that synonym to describe the music, trawling through archives to find a band that sounds similar and people can relate to.

Sometimes there is more value in just sitting back and admiring musicians at the very top of their game, producing tunes capable of changing the atmosphere of a room in an instant, coercing unwilling feet into movement.

Crazy P are one such band. It’s a travesty of the highest order that this Nottingham five-piece have not achieved the dizzy heights of many lesser bands throughout their 20 year career.

They’ve pumped out seven albums in total and the latest, Walk Talk Dance Sing, released May 2015, is a heady mix of dance, electronica, soulful jazz laid over a house beat. Perhaps they should have dropped the ‘enis’ from the latter half of their name earlier, but that was done a decade ago, so they should frankly now be stratospheric.

This gig at Leeds’ venue The Wardrobe wasn’t sold out but the crowd were to a person well versed in Crazy P’s back catalogue whilst at the same time hungry for songs from their as at that time unreleased latest disc.

Opening with their 2013 song Clouds, singer Danielle Moore cut a striking lead figure, in a dress with a neckline so plunging that with any other band it might have distracted from the music. But not Crazy P. Showcasing six songs from their new album, two tracks provided the stand out moments of the set. Cruel Mistress and Echo – and in particularly the latter track – had the members of the crowd not stood on the dancefloor being dragged down onto it by some involuntary force. By the time the band hit final song Witchdoctor, the bar areas were all but empty.

Between those highlights, old favourites such as Heartbreaker and We Can Only Be had kept the momentum of the night at an inextricable high. By the time the ensemble came back to an encore of Reach Me and Eruption, the Wardrobe had turned into one sweaty mass of very happy, very spirited, hugely animated bodies.

There’s no doubt about it, Crazy P should be playing bigger venues than this and selling more records than they do. They have everything a band needs. A charismatic, striking and immensely talented front woman and vocalist complimented by a prodigious band of musicians producing some of the sharpest soulful dance music around. No synonym required. In fact if there is any justice in the world, Crazy P and Walk Talk Dance Sing should be the synonym against which other bands of this genre are compared.

Gig date: May 9