Tuesday night saw the finest punks Wakefield has to offer, The Cribs, offer a blistering twenty two song set to a packed out crowd at Cardiff’s Tramshed. Fresh off the back of releasing one of 2017’s most anticipated rock records, 24-7 Rock Star Shit, the band were raring to go, unleashing some of their noisiest and frantic material since their highly acclaimed debut.
The Cribs are a band I’ve always held close to my heart, to me they’ve always felt like the last of a dying breed of rock bands, who seem to perfectly match melancholy and bittersweet lyrics with raucous guitar feedback and punk aesthetic in their music. Never giving in to indie clichés or compromising what their fans have grown to love them for, but always seeming to deliver a refreshing and different approach to each and every record since 2004.
Surprisingly, having never had the opportunity to see them before, this was my first Cribs show, and I was far from disappointed. Kicking off the set with old school fan favourite, Mirror Kisses’, the crowd erupted, the wall of sound from Gary and Ryan Jarman’s bass and guitar combo was enough to bring the place down. Following up with even more classics, ‘Come On, Be a No-One’ and ‘I’m A Realist’, all I could hear were the crowd belting out every song and all I could see were the worried looks of security trying to catch a crowd surfer every other verse, total euphoria.
Peppering in a few new tracks here and there throughout the set such as ‘Rainbow Ridge’ and ‘In Your Palace’ added a nice change of pace and sounded amazing in a live setting. But the real appeal of a Cribs show is all about the deep cuts, I don’t think I could name another band that are capable of whipping out any B-side from their back catalogue on request from the crowd. But sure enough, one die-hard fans wish came true. After a scream from the mosh pit to play ‘To Jackson’ and a little deliberation on stage, the Cribs broke out into one of their most sombre and beautiful songs to date, the little known B-side to ‘Hey Scenesters!’ a highlight of the show and a special moment for any fan of the band.
After continuing to reel off banger after banger, the peak of the gig had to be the soul-stirring and immensely passionate performance of their most beloved track, ‘Be Safe’. The emotion amongst the crowd was overwhelming and by the final chorus the band reached the sort of rare intensity that left everyone in awe and took the gig to new heights. Hearing Lee Ronaldo’s breath-taking monologue, and arguably my favourite song live was indescribable and a moment I’ll never forget.
After finishing the set with the seven minute epic, ‘Pink Snow’ I was left feeling ecstatic. A Cribs set list is never going to please everyone and they’ll always be that one cynic complaining about why they didn’t play ‘Girls Like Mystery’, but that’s the beauty in the band. What do you expect from a group that makes writing infectious hooks and festival anthems seem like a walk in the park? The Jarman brothers have written more sing along choruses than they know what to do with, and proved themselves, quite rightfully, as one of the British greats.
Words by Gavin Owen