Introducing Merseyside band Crawlers creating inclusive spaces for fans

  • ITV Granada Reportd correspondent Elaine Willcox went to meet the Crawlers for the latest in the Granada Introducing series

Alt rock band Crawlers want their gigs to be "safe, inclusive spaces for their fans to be themselves" - something they did not have growing up.

The quartet who emerged from the Liverpool music scene in 2018 have been drawing "debut album tattoos doodles" on their fans to celebrate the release of first album, The Mess We Seem To Make.

It is also an album which allows them to deepen their relationship with members of the LGBTQIA+ community in their audience.

Crawlers debut album has been six years in the making. Credit: Megan Doherty

Lead singer Holly Minto, from Southport, said: "When you're in this political climate where being queer sometimes feels really unsafe.

"One thing about a Crawler's concert is our incredible fanbase holding each other and feeling like they have a place to be unapologetically themselves.

"As we are so in the alternative community, talking about queer issues and political issues openly at our gigs with our fans, it seeps into the mainstream world and helps to educate and inform people about these issues."

Amy Woodall, guitarist from Warrington, added: "Often people come to call the show and find friends and find people like them.

"It really just starts on the ground from the venues, the bands and the label to make sure things are safe, it is in everyone's hands to make gigs inclusive.

"All our team from are determined to make sure people feel comfortable so they can connect to our songs."

The band got their big break with Come Over (Again) - their 2021 track which went viral and has now racked up over 50 million streams on Spotify alone.

Their growing fanbase are affectionately known as "Creepy Crawlies", and the band regularly set up discord channels for their gigs, so fans can meet each other beforehand.

The band have come a long way from rehearsing in a shed in Warrington, where Amy and bassist Liv Kettle are from.

They met Holly when all three studied music at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). Dummer Harry Breen is from Guilford and moved to Liverpool in his teens.

Three of the band identify as queer (“plus Harry their favourite ally”) and they want to create music that "speaks authentically to their own identities and a wider need for inclusive environments where young people feel heard".

Holly describes herself as a huge Beatles fan but still cringes at the thought of meeting one of her heroes, Sir Paul McCartney, the co-founder of LIPA.

Holly and Amy re-enacting the 'cabbage' handshake with Sir Paul McCartney Credit: ITV Granada

She described waiting for graduation day, looking forward to shaking his hand, but Covid meant graduates were told to fist pump him instead.

Holly recalls the moment: "I had been preparing for this for three years, I was mentally prepared for the handshake, and I ended up wrapping my hand like a cabbage around his, I 'cabbaged' Sir Paul McCartney."

The band were determined to record their first album in the Liverpool, building on the relationship they have with producer Pete Robinson and engineer Tom Roach at Liverpool’s Coastal Studios.

Crawlers "Golden Bridge' filmed overlooking the Mersey Credit: Crawlers

From the drama of Would You Come To My Funeral a song about morality and regret, with the video showing a full on Scouse scrap in pews.

To Golden Bridge which shows off their quieter side, a beautiful piano ballad which builds into an epic, heart-wrenching song about looking across the River Mersey while struggling with mental health issues.

Call It Love, Holly explains “romanticises the desire to love someone despite it being a toxic situation".

The album takes on a whole range of challenging topics; trauma, sexual politics, mental health, and everything besides in people's lives.

Crawlers have recently had series of support slots with the likes of Yungblud and My Chemical Romance, after dates for their own tour across the UK, Europe and US.

They will spend much of their album year on the road.

Crawlers at Liverpool's Jacaranda Baltic venue and record store Credit: ITV Granada

After Performing Glastonbury for the first time in 2023 they will perform on the main stage at Reading and Leeds this summer.

Amy said the band had already started planning that set and show already even though it is not until August.

She said, "Our drummer Harry started learning drums when he went to watch Blink-182 at Reading - the same week he bought a drum kit.

"Now we are playing the same festival and same stage as Blink-182."

The band played their first gigs in the famous club and were back in Liverpool to play Jacaranda Baltic Credit: Jacaranda Club

They played some of their first gigs at the legendary Jacaranda Club, which gave birth to the Beatles sound.

The band were back in Liverpool to play an intimate gig at the club's new sister venue Jacaranda Baltic and got a chance to spend time with fans.

After signing for Polydor Records, home to the likes of Lady Gaga, Billy Eilish and Sam Fender, they are still pinching themselves that "four working class kids" get to work on their music full time.

When asked what fans get when they come to a Crawlers gig, Holly's quick response, "Free therapy".

You can keep across Granada Reports' Introducing series showcasing the North West's best music.

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