Tommy 092

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.

Today, continuing our April Fall month on Velvet Sheep, it’s a man that played guitar for The Fall for their 19th album “Levitate” in 1997. He also added vocals and provided the artwork to the album and the ace “Masquerade” single. After the recording of the album and its subsequent tour the band were all sacked and reinstated but later on during the US tour along with Karl Burns and Steve Hanley, he was involved in an infamous on-stage bust up on stage in New York in April 1998 which led to the trio leaving the band. A man at the heart of a momentous moment in the band’s history but also one of their best ever albums, it’s Tommy Crooks!


Tommy enlightened me further on the American escapades:

“Karl Burns called The Levitate Tour “The Frozen Flesh Tour”. He was completely nuts…a highly hilarious individual.”

I asked Tommy what he was up to these days:

“Me? I own and run a company that makes natural skincare products. We sell worldwide and it’s growing well. Here’s the website www.edinburghskincare.com

When I got in touch with Tommy he was intrigued by my day job:

“What did you do for your Bafta? That’s interesting. I’ve been trying to get a hold of a film called Airplainski which I saw on C4 once. Do you know this film? It’s a very weird tale about Aeroflot. Maybe as an industry insider you could point me in the right direction to get a copy.”

I will endeavour to find a proper copy of this, especially as being a former aircraft recognition champion with the air cadets (geek credentials fully declared) but from this clip it looks good…


There is some scratchy YT footage of the New York bust-up, but I’m all about the positives, so here’s an audio clip of a “Levitate” era track featuring Tommy Crooks.


Enough of my blather, without further ado, it’s over to Tommy and his “song for ewe”…

“I love this song by T.Rex. “The Soul of My Suit”

I think it’s a perfect example of English Glam Rock which cannot be bettered. Beautifully idiosyncratic and the complete opposite of American Rock. Americans couldn’t produce this type of song in a million years. I get carried away by it every time I hear it and I love every aspect of it. Herbie Flowers on Bass, running all over the place. Mark Bolan in top form. Pure magic and totally classy.

It’s a track that’s heavily sprinkled with “Fairy Dust” in all the right places which is probably down to Herbie Flowers in some way or another. A little understated masterpiece by a swaggeringly confident band. Coming from a very particular time in British Rock History, it still sounds curiously timeless.”