Live Review: The Cribs at London Troxy – 8th May 2012

By on Tuesday, 22nd May 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

It’s hard to think that they’ve now got five albums to their name, had a member of the Smiths amongst their ranks for a while and all without losing their accents. Tonight, the Cribs are bringing ‘The Belly of the Brazen Bull’ (reviewed by Cheryl here) to London’s Troxy, and they’re leaving the flowers at home.

They open in boisterous fashion with the fitting ‘Glitters Like Gold’: “it’s a straight seeming / like a friend follows the few / you can be what you want / ignore the genius”.  It’s not as bouncy as you might expect, but it’s got structure and it’s a mission statement that plays on the departure from their last album ‘Ignore the Ignorant’. The band constantly blend clean sounds with rough tones and roll straight into ‘I’m a Realist’. It’s been almost exactly 5 years since ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’ was released, and yet tracks from it still sound as powerful as when first spun around the radio. It plays as one of the fondest memories for many here as the converted cinema fills with chants of every word.

Lead single from their new record “Come On, Be a No One” has already been learnt by the thousand-strong army out and dancing with vigour this evening, its catchy shouting chorus gives way to moderate relaxation in the verse. It feels borderline grunge and adds a sense of diversity to the set list that’s weighted with new tracks. Whilst the album is far from perfect, tracks from it seem to go down well. There’s slow tracks to ease the mood but with such a ‘…Brazen Bull’ heavy show, you feel that it loses some of the atmosphere that builds up so well in other tunes. ‘Anna’ is the highlight of the bunch as ‘Chi-Town’ is singable but not necessarily very good.

The highlight of the night however comes from the Jarmans’ interaction with the punters. They allow the crowd to pick what track they hear next at one point (they choose ‘Baby Don’t Sweat’) as well as even joking around with early tracks (and the lack of memory to play them). This results in a chant of ‘It Was Only Love’ that could turn even the balcony sitters into believers.

Of course like any live show, the hits are loaded at the back as the request time becomes the projected, backing tracked ‘Be Safe’. The place erupts with every fan releasing more air than should be possible, as the band turn it up to 11. It’s probably the best the Cribs will ever be, with or without Marr and after traditional set closers ‘Man’s Needs’ and ‘City of Bugs’, they’re gone again. It’s hard to say whether they’re better, but they’re certainly bigger.

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