The Cribs - Cribsmas - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Cribs - Cribsmas - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:
The Cribs - Cribsmas - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
The Cribs - Cribsmas - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Christmas is fast approaching but we can’t do that before we’ve had Cribsmas 2017. Hard to believe it’s been a full decade since the very first one was held here at the iconic Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. The band are playing an impressive 5 nights at the Brude to mark the occasion, every night sold out and rammed with eager fans. With the stage decorated with a glittering tinsel curtain (‘Glitters Like Gold’ anyone?) it’s very nearly show time. I’m only here for Tuesday’s performance and plan to soak up every second.

It wouldn’t be a gig without a couple of support acts though and tonight’s are of a particularly fine calibre. Introducing his band the singer from City Yelps jokingly apologises, “sorry if you got the short straw and got us instead of people with actual talent”. I first saw the band play a few years ago at The Fox & Newt. They were good then and they’re great now. The band specialise in a punky strand of indie complete with Mo Tucker worthy tub-thumping and suitably contagious melodies. They’re really good fun and you can even see an impressed Gary Jarman peeking from behind the glittery curtain.

Next it’s time for Glasgow’s Paws. The band has toured with The Cribs before and count the Jarman’s as ‘brothers’. They play energetic pop-punk complete with frantic, Animal-worthy drumming. Some of the tunes are vaguely reminiscent of Blink 182 (minus the teenage humour), so it’s not entirely surprising to find out that Mark Hoppus produced their last album. The Glaswegian accents give them the edge over the American outfit though. The second great set of the night and we haven’t even had The Cribs yet.

Everything is set up just right for tonight’s performance; the DIY support acts and the likes of Comet Gain and The New Pornographers playing over the PA. With half 9 approaching the music shifts to Queen, Cyndi Luper and Berlin’s so-cheesy-it-hurts ‘Take My Breath Away’. Ridiculous but it all feels deliberate. The music fades out and we get a quick raffle to raise money for cystic fibrosis, selling off some ‘vintage’ Cribsmas goods. With an impressive £90 raised it’s now time for (adopts slightly grating Noddy Holder voice) Criiiiiibbbbbsssmaassss!

There’s something that just feels right about The Cribs playing The Brudenell Social Club. The band has been going since 2002 (well, maybe before, they are all brothers after all) and can now sell out the likes of Leeds Arena. But there’s always something to be said for coming home for Cribsmas. There’s no messing about as the band rip into ‘Our Bovine Public’ and an equally riotous ‘Come On, Be a No One’. The whole room is singing along from the very start, these songs clearly mean a lot to people.

It might be stating the obvious but it’s especially great to be able to watch the band so close up. It’s just one of the benefits of seeing anyone at the Brudenell (officially my second home). Gary tells us that it might sound a little like a VH1 documentary but it feels like these shows have brought them “back to where it all started”. For band and audience, there’s a real sense of occasion.

The set seems purposefully built to please the fans with popular singles mixed in with lesser played album tracks and even some B-sides. Every song is greeted with the same enthusiasm from the crowd, the likes of ‘It Happened so Fast’ showing just how great a B-Side can be. ‘Hari Kari’ from Ignore the Ignorant sounds fantastic with its emotive mantra of “it’s your mind/it’s your voice/ it’s your body/ it’s your choice”. Gary and Ryan’s vocals are on throat-shredding form. They’ll probably be in dire need of a Strepsil or two by the end of the week.

‘Men’s Needs’, ‘You’re Gonna Lose Us’ and ‘Mirror Kissers’ sound unstoppable, intelligently written and passionately played indie pop songs with huge choruses. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need. Even the guitar parts inspire singalongs with the crowd starting the riff for ‘Another Number’ before the band plays a note. Ryan joking that he isn’t giving way to peer pressure as they start the song properly. The band digs deep and play something from every album. ‘Be Safe’ and ‘Direction’ proudly standing alongside the likes of ‘Different Angle’ and ‘In Your Palace’.

Everyone has their hands in the air (like the just don’t care?) and there’s a fair few crowd surfing their way to the stage. At one point Ryan reminds everyone to look out for each other, they can still “lose their shit” without ruining it for anyone else. From what I can see the message is taken on board, there’s a lot of chaos but a lot of smiling too. It’s carnage but of the best possible kind.

They end with ‘The Wrong Way to Be’, feedback spilling off the stage as snow falls from above. OK, well it’s actually foam not snow but it has much the same effect. I’ve seen a lot of great bands this year but The Cribs playing The Brudenell Social Club may have just stolen the show. Merry Cribsmas one and all!

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