The Cribs - O2 Academy Liverpool
Live Review

The Cribs – O2 Academy Liverpool

It’s rare for me to enjoy a gig in an Academy venue when a pint of beer is £4, but the Cribs absolutely smashed it on Thursday 25th October at the O2 Academy in Liverpool. It’s been a long overdue return to Liverpool for the Wakefield band, but the crowd were ready to take them in with open arms. There are few guitar bands left who are still recording truly great pop songs, and Liverpool was excited to see the one who do it best.

Probably the best entrance I’ve seen since Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip came onstage to the Antiques Roadshow theme in 2008, the Jarman brothers appeared to Kiss’ ‘God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You’. Hilariously cheesy, but the crowd instantly lashed their pints and started screaming for indie rock’s favourite band. Drummer Ross Jarman stood up on his stool and started thrashing his symbols, setting the standard for the amount of energy the band was going to give us that night.

The band kicked off the show with ‘Come On, Be A No-One’, possibly my favourite track off the new album ‘In The Belly Of A Brazen Bull’. It’s one of those songs that I could imagine being on any of the Cribs’ albums, yet it still seems to show exactly what all their previous work has been building up to. Needless to say, Liverpool loved it. Excitement surged through the crowd, who were screaming the lyrics back at the brothers. The show started on such a high that I felt almost worried about were it was going to go, but then the band played a Cribs classic, ‘Our Bovine Public’. Every man in that audience turned into a 15 year old boy, pogoing on the spot, grinning as if it was Christmas Eve.

It’s 10 years since The Cribs formed, which Gary told us was kind of cool because Bart Simpson was 10 years old. Hearing one of the Jarman brothers saying, ‘Don’t have a cow, man’ has to be one of this years highlights for me. The Cribs know how to connect to an audience – they wanted to know what Liverpool’s favourite B-side was and even tailored the set, asking the crowd exactly what they wanted to hear. We had the choice of ‘Chi-Town’ and ‘Don’t You Wanna Be Relevant’. Personally, I’d gone to the gig hoping to hear ‘Chi-Town’, but when the latter was played I was not disappointed. I guess considering this was the first time I’d seen the Cribs, I have plenty of time to hear the new album.

Personal highlights from the show were ‘You Were Always The One’, ‘Hey Scenesters!’ and ‘Be Safe’. I was unsure of how ‘Be Safe’ was going to be done, but knew there was no way that the band would not play it. I was absolutely made up when a projection of Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo appeared on stage. In all honesty, I think that actually worked better than if the Ranaldo would have actually been there in person. ‘Be Safe’ if a pretty emotional song, and so hearing hundreds of fellow fans singing the lyrics in unison is one hell of an experience.

It’s hard to think of any low points. If at any point the energy started to lull, something would happen, like Ryan would start pogoing, or Ross would stand up on his drums, and the audience would just be pulled right back in. They had the crowd wrapped round their little finger. The only thing really that was below incredible for me was ‘Another Number’. I’ve imagined hearing that riff for the first time and I could see myself going mental, but it just didn’t seem to take that effect on me. Perhaps The Cribs play it differently live, or maybe there’s tracks on the new album that have replaced it as one of my favourite songs, but it just didn’t seem to work as well as I thought it would. But hey, don’t get me wrong, it was still awesome.

One thing I will take away from the gig is a new appreciation of Ross Jarman. He’s often forgotten about, but on stage he made himself known. What a drummer! The Jarman brothers have a lot to be thanked for in terms of keeping indie rock music relevant. Seeing Ryan throwing a mic stand across the stage, then going over to his brother to sing down the same mic was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen. I felt like a 14 year old fan girl and I wanted to make that known. Cribs, you are the most rock ‘n’ roll band out there, cheers for that.

Venue: O2 Academy Liverpool
Support Band: Guests

Share this!