Live Review: The Cribs @ O2 Forum Kentish Town

Editor's Review

Summary

They said they’d see us again in a decade but heck I hope it’s sooner than that! Until then, be safe!

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The Cribs marked the 10 year anniversary of their seminal Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever album with an energetic live show at the O2 Forum Kentish Town.

Following The Cribs (2004) and The New Fellas (2005), MNWNW is a smoother listen but still retains the Jarman brothers’ unmistakable brand of off-kilter guitars and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. The album became iconic through its weaving together of raw guitar riffs and Ryan’s belting vocal blended with a smoother production. The result is a body of tracks which have become synonymous with a period in history where indie rock ruled, crossing over to the mainstream and breaking all the boundaries laid out by popular music. Originally from Wakefield, The Cribs’ (Ryan, Gary and Ross Jarman) musical style is no-nonsense and many of their tracks are peppered with spoken snippets in their unmistakable Yorkshire accents. So after a decade of being a hardcore Cribs fan but never seeing them live before, I was buzzing to experience the Jarman’s live show and celebrate MNWNW’s 10

Originally from Wakefield, The Cribs’ (Ryan, Gary and Ross Jarman) musical style is no-nonsense and many of their tracks are peppered with spoken snippets in their unmistakable Yorkshire accents. So after a decade of being a hardcore Cribs fan but never seeing them live before, I was buzzing to experience the Jarman’s live show and celebrate MNWNW’s 10th birthday.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage

With this being an anniversary tour the band played MNWNW from start to finish. The boys took to the stage and launched into a vigorous rendition of opener Our Bovine Public. “Don’t think I’d have to choose, don’t think I’d wear brown shoes” is one of The Cribs’ most memorable opening lines and was sung by Ryan in true gritty fashion. Up next was another belter: Girls Like Mystery, one of the more radio-friendly Cribs tracks and unmistakable with its screeching guitar riffs. The most famed track on the album,

The most famed track on the album, Men’s Needs, set the crowd wild in a whirlwind of heady guitar riffs and snare drums with everyone in the building singing along to “A man’s needs, man’s needs, are full of greed, are full of greed.” Moving Pictures took the tempo down a notch with its romantic pacing but the guitars were out in force and there was a baseline deeper than the Atlantic. I’m A Realist is the track which wins the crown of best opening lyric: “I’m a realist. I’m a romantic. I’m an indecisive piece of shit” and Major’s Titling Victory the crown of grittiest guitar riff. Women’s Needs is characterised by its reverberating guitars and harmonies with an explosive electric guitar breakdown at the end, which is even more mind-blowing live. Toning down the tempo again was

Toning down the tempo again was I’ve Tried Everything. Here, the Jarman’s show their softer side with a gentler pace, thought-provoking lyrics and restrained guitars. My Life Flashed Before My Eyes brought the guitars back with a vengeance and the boys were on top form, with the crowd jumping in a frenzy to the chorus of “If my life flashed before my eyes do you think I’d mind? No!” A highlight of the gig was without a doubt Be Safe. The band have noted in the past that they didn’t expect this leftfield track to become so popular. The deep bass drones throughout as Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth speaks poetic verses about the state of the world as his image is projected onto the wall behind the band, accompanied by occasional bouts of “Be safe” from Ryan and Gary. The only other lyrics the boys sang were “I know a place we can go where you’ll fall in love so hard that you’ll wish you were dead” with the whole crowd belting the lyrics back to them.

The band have noted in the past that they didn’t expect this leftfield track to become so popular. The deep bass drones throughout as Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth speaks poetic verses about the state of the world as his image is projected onto the wall behind the band, accompanied by occasional bouts of “Be safe” from Ryan and Gary. The only other lyrics the boys sang were “I know a place we can go where you’ll fall in love so hard that you’ll wish you were dead” with the whole crowd belting the lyrics back to them. Ancient History is addictive with its deep baseline and drum beats and laddy guitar breakdown at the end and MNWNW closing track Shoot The Poets was performed in a pared back style.

Having played MNWNW in its entirety the gig then descended into utter moshing chaos as the Jarman’s pulled out some classic bangers from up their sleeves. They kicked it off with 2007 Double A-Side track Don’t You Wanna Be Relevant, swiftly followed by Come On Be A No One from 2012 album Belly Of The Brazen Bull. A surprise addition was Different Angle from newest album For All My Sisters: a singalong track that’s pretty underrated.

Ryan then asked the crowd “Do you like B sides?” and they proceeded to play the psychedelic Get Yr Hands Out Of My Grave. We were then transported all the way back to 2004 with Another Number and its distinctive riffs and harmonies. Then it all got a bit crazy when the crowd heard Ryan’s spoken word intro and everyone started roaring along to the classic The Wrong Way To Be. This was followed by Mirror Kissers with its notorious riffs and Gary’s hollering of “You’re aren’t allowed to say that you’re better, you aren’t allowed to say that cause you’re the hipster type.” The riffs were stupidly heavy, the smoke was getting thicker, the lights more blinding and by the end of it all I was breathless and covered in beer. It couldn’t have been better!

Ryan, Gary and Ross delivered an exceptional show which confirms exactly why The Cribs have experienced such longevity. The humorous anecdotes between tracks, the ease with which they play mind-blowing riffs and the way they get the crowd pumped and jumping means I cannot wait to do this all again! They said they’d see us again in a decade but heck I hope it’s sooner than that! Until then, be safe!

Find out more about The Cribs here and have a listen to the classic Men’s Needs below.

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