Heading through a bar that resembled someone’s converted living room and heading through a door into what looked like someone’s decorated garage, it was quite surreal to think that a set of indie anthems would later be played to a crammed 350 capacity venue.
Menace Beach [7/10] a band perhaps a little too big for The Oobleck’s stage, provided a pleasurable support set. Comprised of a drummer, bassist, keyboardist and two guitarists it was any wonder how the vocalist/guitarist still managed to jump around and shake his long locks amongst the equipment. For a support, their set was cleanly executed and although didn’t get the crowd dancing around, did seem to have everyone’s attention, excluding a group of boys downing pints, who decided to fill every break by shouting the intro to the headliners track ‘Another Number’ which was both inconsiderate and plain annoying. Playing tracks from their EPs and recent debut album Ratworld, their slacker rock with a hint of psychedelia didn’t feel like it was dragging or make you want the headliners to take the stage already, which is usually a sign of a good support.
Bounding onstage to an eruption of whistles and cheers from the crowd, the Jarman brothers looked as up for it as the crowd did. Launching the rest of a pint into the crowd, only to have one thrown back at him, Ryan picked up his metallic purple guitar and began thrashing the opening riff to ‘Mirror Kissers’. Blasting a whirlwind of energy into the crowd, the fans shifted from side to side of the crammed venue, whilst yelling the lyrics back. Heading straight through into ‘An Ivory Hand’ and indie sing-a-long ‘Come On, Be a No-One’, it became brutally clear that the The Cribs [10/10] hadn’t lost any love over the years. At a point in their career where they could easily be playing bigger, more renowned venues, it proves that the band stick to their DIY nature and care more for genuine fans to get an intimate performance, as they claimed that the gig, nestled inside Birmingham’s creative space, ‘The Custard Factory’ was the smallest venue they had played in the city.
Delving into a lengthy set composed of 18 tracks, they dipped in and out of songs dating back to 2004 to new material from the upcoming album, For All My Sisters which is due for release in March. Speaking of the new album Gary proclaimed “we are always pre-madonna’s when our new records come out”, before Ryan announced “I don’t like not seeing mosh pits to new songs” which meant that the crowd needed to attempt to raise the energy, if that was possible. New single ‘Burning For No One’ gained as much love as iconic tracks from the noughties, proving that The Cribs still have the ability to write raw, sing-a-long rock songs. Playing tracks from the earlier albums, such as ‘Our Bovine Public’ and ‘Martell’ Gary claimed that the songs were from a period where they all began with “wah’s” before joking, “that’s how we all speak in Wakefield”.
Towards the end of the set, some members of the crowd got unsurprisingly a little too rowdy and were pulled out. At one point as the bouncer was facing the crowd, Gary asked what was going on and addressed fans, stating ‘the best way to have a shitty night is to have a fight’, before heading into a speech about “All Cribs fans should be friends / You have us in common.” To this chants of “Gary” and cheers were the response.
The main highlight came from a trio of tracks, consisting of infamous Cribs songs, ‘I’m A Realist’, ‘Hey Scenesters!’ and ‘Men’s Needs’. With no encore, just a straight set, The Cribs proved that they are here for the long haul, in more way than one.
Leaving the venue, it was a gig that left you with a fuzzy feeling and a euphoric-induced tear in your eye. The Cribs established that they are not only one of the best live bands around, but also still one of the most energetic, and from the buzz that followed the twenty-something male fans out, it seemed the nostalgia had been fulfilled.