Electric Ballroom, London, February 12
“Does anybody want to hear a new song?” asks Ryan Jarman, introducing ‘Different Angle’ to a sold out and up for it Electric Ballroom. “I hate it when you see a band and they play new songs and nobody moves. Let’s start a moshpit.”
The Cribs’ new songs – from upcoming sixth album ‘For All My Sisters’ – sound made for the mosh. There’s chant-ready hooks in all seven that get an airing tonight, from ‘An Ivory Hand’’s chugging geek-rock to ‘Mr Wrong’’s cutting “All along I was always Mr Wrong” chorus, accompanied by synths from auxillary live member David Jones. ‘Burning For No One’ and ‘Finally Free’ boast a massive riffs and ‘Summer Of Chances’ thunders past, an indie-pop behemoth.
The biggest surprise comes as the set enters its final third and ‘Pink Snow’ – introduced by Ryan as “my favourite Cribs song” – arrives. The sprawling, seven-minute track is by far the noisiest, most abrasive cut of the night, and lurches from slow, sparse verses to furious, screaming peaks that have huge factions of the crowd bouncing as one.
So too, do the array of Cribs classics the brothers race through. ‘Mirror Kissers’ – from 2005’s ‘The New Fellas’ – is incendiary, and the crowd roar the familiar twinkling riff to ‘Another Number’ as Ryan teases the intro. An era-spanning closing trio of ‘Hey Scenesters!’, ‘Men’s Needs’ and ‘City Of Bugs’ provides a boisterous end to a set full of thrills. “Miss you already,” shouts Gary as he removes his bass and waves to the crowd. The feeling’s mutual.