The Cribs at Whelans, Monday 18 May 2015
Six albums in, and The Cribs remain the catchy indie-punk band they’ve always been. Flirtations with bigger mainstream success haven’t altered the band’s ideology, and the group remain decidedly underground. The fact that the band are playing Whelans after gracing the Academy on their last visit highlights this. Their music remains as something of a well-kept secret, and we certainly won’t complain if these smaller venues are more to their liking.
The powerful garage-rock of September Girls opens the show, and the band’s confident performance is a fine way to open proceedings.
The Cribs themselves are in fine fettle launching straight into their more anthemic hits, with Glitters like Gold and Come On Be a No One standing out as true belters with the powerful choruses bellowed out by the Jarman twins. The band move on to deliver a few of their older tunes, with Another Number’s sharp riffs and catchy hooks impressing. The band shift from song to song with ease, plucking songs from all eras of their career.
This is the beautiful thing about The Cribs; their records mightn’t make any best album ever lists, but each is a quality piece of work. The band’s ability to play any song from their collection is testament to their enduring brilliance and their excellent consistency. ‘Here’s another song’ shouts Ryan Jarman, and it doesn’t really matter which one it is – The Cribs are here and are on fire. Tracks from the new album slot into the set as smoothly as the tracks that are over 10 years old, with Diamond Girls in particular emerging as a fine song.
The band really outdo themselves in the final stretch, rattling through their biggest hits with confidence. A wonky guitar solo develops into the fantastic riff of I’m A Realist, and a ferocious rendition of Hey Scenesters! follows it up. The bass is a bit too overdriven on Men’s Needs and obscures some of the fantastic riffs of the guitar, but the track is a cracker never the less, and the energy displayed is volatile.
Pink Snow, the closer from the band’s newest album, seems like a bizarre conclusion, but the gentle opening notes bulk up into a triumphant finale with the huge sound rounding off the show in the most explosive way. The Jarman brothers chuck their guitars aside and skulk off the stage, concluding a professional and clinical performance that excelled from start to finish.