Gig preview: The Cribs at Millennium Square, Leeds

The Cribs. Picture Anthony Longstaff
The Cribs. Picture Anthony Longstaff
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From basement shows and three night residencies, secret shows and sell-out festivals, whatever the size and whatever the venue, The Cribs never compromise on quality as a live act.

Leeds’ Millennium Square will play host to the Jarman brothers for their own self-curated festival on Friday July 22, and here Ross and Ryan take a look back on favourite gigs and discuss upcoming material.

As the Millennium Square gig is being billed as a ‘home town’ show, which gig in the UK has stood out most for yourselves over the years?

Ross: It’s difficult to pick one, as they are all different for many reasons. I’m sure Gary and Ryan would have different answers to me too. Gigs that spring to mind though are last year’s sold-out show at the Camden Roundhouse, as well as any of our shows at Glasgow Barrowlands. The atmosphere in there is amazing. Any home town show, from back at the Brudenell to three nights at Leeds University, has a big sense of occasion for us and Manchester has always adopted us as one of theirs too. So many to pick from over the past 10 years!

You have always had a very loyal live following with fans meeting up in groups moving from show to show. What is it that creates the excitement for yourselves for a gig after all these years?

Ross: Playing live is just different every time for us and, as cheesey as this may sound, I get a buzz from playing live that can’t be replicated in any other way. The adrenaline you get is like an addictive drug that you just want to take more of. I’ve often said after long tours, I’ll be sat at home watching TV and around 9 10pm I will have an anxiety attack. For a long time I never knew why, but it’s just my body is so used to delivering that adrenaline dose every night that it just happens sometimes. I also feel like we always try to come up with new ideas for us and the fans. It could become a little stale if we were to just keep showing up to the same venues every two years or so when we have a new record out.

The Cribs. Picture Anthony Longstaff

The Cribs. Picture Anthony Longstaff

Menace Beach and Pulled Apart By Horses are two great local acts on the bill, along with the legendary Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth. Who’s been your favourite touring act and who do you recommend keeping an eye on?

Ryan: It’s difficult to say, there’s been a lot of great bands that we’ve toured with and we’re always excited to try and bring bands we think are interesting to hopefully turn more people onto them. It’s kinda one of our favourite parts of touring, picking a good bill. Esper Scout from Leeds have played with us a few times now and have a single out through Kill Rock Stars, they’re definitely worth checking out.

Is there a song in your back catalogue you tire of playing? Squirrel Records have recently released the Nuts and Vaults album that features a song that apparently you had forgotten about. Do we see any chance as this is a Leeds gig, that the song would get played?

Ryan: I don’t think there’s any chance of us playing it at all, to be honest, but I’m glad it’s seeing the light of day. The early days of the band just before getting signed was so exciting that any recordings from that time have a specific energy to them that means to me, they still sound cool. Big love to Squirrel Records too, Leeds was lucky to have such a great, uncompromising label.

Everything that’s ever happened in the band’s history, from working with different producers and artists, to Johnny Marr joining, there was never an agenda, it’s all stuff that just happened naturally.

Ross Jarman

What can we expect from the new record stylistically? There’s been talk of this being the ‘punk’ one.

Ryan: Most of that talk wasn’t necessarily from us, but we are working on a more stripped back record with Steve Albini. Make of that what you will...

You’ve always been blessed with your choice of producer, is there anyone you still wish to work with? And what became of the sessions with David Richards?

Ryan: We only did two songs with David before he passed away, but they are finished versions. I’m not sure what will become of them, they are just in our archive at the minute but they are interesting so if we can think of a way of releasing them that makes sense maybe they’ll see the light of day in the future. It’s definitely an interesting combo, us and Queen’s old producer!

The Cribs. Picture Anthony Longstaff

The Cribs. Picture Anthony Longstaff

Are there any unfulfilled ambitions within the band that have still to be realised?

Ross: Ever since the band started, there hasn’t really been a plan. Everything that’s ever happened in the band’s history, from working with different producers and artists, to Johnny [Marr] joining, there was never an agenda, it’s all stuff that just happened naturally. We are really excited about the upcoming show at Millennium Square though. We’ve talked about doing this for a couple of years now, so glad it’s finally happening.

If you were to tell your younger selves any advice now retrospectively, what would it be and what advice would you give to anyone in a small town with a dream?

Ryan: To my younger self – please try to enjoy it. It’s been a wild ride to look back on but I remember feeling frustrated a lot of the time which I’m sad about now. You have to try and enjoy every day and weird experience that comes with it. To anyone in a small town with a dream: if anyone at all tries to dilute what you are doing or tries to undermine you, try and find the strength to tell them to f*** off. The most interesting things come from the smallest towns and you don’t need to play the game with anyone.

The Cribs play at Millennium Square, Leeds on Friday July 22. For details visit https://www.thecribs.com/

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