Wed 17 Nov 2021

Joy Crookes: Live At Manchester Academy 2

joy crookes

Joy Crookes: Live At Manchester Academy 2 – Words by Tyrese King

Normally Sundays are a day of rest, but I guess nobody told the fans of Joy Crookes that as she headlined her sold-out show at Manchester Academy 2 on Sunday.

Joy walks out singing ‘You and Me Song’, her second single before the launch of her debut album ‘Skins’. She stands centre-stage with all the confidence in the world, shuffling and popping her shoulders.

Seconds into ‘Trouble’, Joy stops suddenly. Laughing she tells the band to reload it, with more energy. Reload: The bass picks up while people raise their arms, moving backwards and forwards, singing to her.

Joy announces to the audience that the next section is called the ‘heartbreak phase”. The room darkens and without warning, the stage is covered by blue lights.

The mood of the room darkens still, as ‘Power’ starts to play releasing a sense of danger in the room. Crooke’s voice is full of anger, the song progresses dangerously, as she condemns those who the song is directed at.

I’d describe ‘Kingdom’ as a 90s pop anthem with a vintage and rebellious feel. With talks about the recent social issues in Britain, ‘Don’t Fail Me Now’ follows. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter protest, this song was written by Crookes as a means to stand against racism.

The crowd refuse for the night to be over. Crookes returns alone, sits at the piano and starts to play a melody. We stay silent and listen until the band join her.

The night ends with ‘When you were mine’, fans not wanting the night to end and continuing to sing as Joy leaves the stage.

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