Gig review: The Cribs at O2 Academy Leeds

The Cribs at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
The Cribs at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
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Though not strictly a homecoming gig, Leeds saw the return of the mighty Wakefield band, The Cribs. Putting rivalry aside of the these two Yorkshire cities, the Jarman boys were back on hallowed Yorkshire ground with a two-night stay at the O2 Academy.

The first of two nearly sold-out ‘Cribsmas’ shows saw a welcome return to Gary, Ryan and Ross. It has been a little while since they last played in the area and, as with most Yorkshire-born bands, the place was packed to the rafters with the occasional shout of “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire!”

Six studio albums in, their latest being the March released Payola, the trio performed an old school show of classic tracks, many from albums Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever, Ignore the Ignorant and In the Belly of the Brazen Bull, their best performing albums to date.

The Cribs set their own standard of indie rock, dissimilar to a lot of other bands of their era, which makes them highly attractive to listen to.

Back to their original three-piece line-up, the boys brought an essence of enjoyment and back to basics of their music. The Johnny Marr days were good and no doubt hightened their appeal and credibility but these two nights back home are all about what started them off in the first place.

Support for the first night came from The History of Apple Pie and Black Wire, both of whom offered up a decent setlist to see everybody through to the headliners.

The Cribs came on a little late which just made the Yorkshire chants all the louder. Covering the crowd in a shower of beer, Gary and Ryan ran on stage and straight into first track, Hey Scenesters.

As they blasted their way through a set that included I’m Alright Me, You Were Always The One and Things You Should Be Knowing, the rain of crowdsurfers flowed over the barriers like a human waterfall.

The night was almost reminiscent to a small-scale pub gig to 50 people rather than the 2,000 or so that launched themselves in the air with every strum of the guitar string and every beat of Ross’s bass drum.

The set drew to a close with crowd-pleasers Mirror Kisses, What About Me and The Wrong Way to Be.

This was The Cribs at their finest.

Gig date: December 18

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