REVIEW: The Cribs – Limelight 2, Belfast
Coming back with their distinct sprawling and abrasive indie-pop punk sound, with new album ‘For All My Sisters’ being described as ‘the pop one’ of the two promised upcoming albums. The Wakefield brothers played the much anticipated show in the notorious venue of Limelight 2.
The night began with Dublin indie quintet September Girls, formed in 2011, who played for twenty minutes to warm up the ever growing crowd. The ‘Girls’ set was filled with a reverb heavy but hauntingly melodic sounds with a defining edge. With tracks such as ‘Green Eyed’ and ‘Veneer‘, they were the perfect forerunner for the headliners.
With much anticipation amongst the crowd, the three piece took stage. Although missing, the once described ‘fourth honorary brother’, Johnny Marr, it seemed that they had acquired another, later to be confirmed as Russell Searle from ‘The Research’. Opening with the unfalteringly catchy tune ‘Mirror Kissers’, The Cribs began with a bang. After the first opening songs, frontman Ryan Jarman eased the crowd in by interjecting some humour into the set, by introducing the band as the “Really, really, really famous band from England.” The frontman also reminisced about the bands last Belfast show alongside Razorlight, another prominent band in the burgeoning indie punk scene of the early 2000s.
The set then carried on, unfolding with an eclectic mix of tracks from the bands new album ‘For All My Sisters’, the first of the two pending albums. Tracks such as ‘An Ivory Hand’ and ‘Mr Wrong’, both awash with the signature damaged indie punk-rock sound of past classics, this sound resonating throughout. The band not only debuted tracks from their new album but the set was also peppered with classics. Classics such as the infectious and somewhat signature Cribs tune, ‘Men’s Needs’, with the crowd springing to life upon the sound of the first unmistakable guitar notes. They also went on to play one of the bands most critically acclaimed songs, ‘Be Safe’. The melodic yet noisy sound of the record paired with Lee Ronadlo’s (Sonic Youth) voice echoed throughout the crowd. The band gave an excellent performance of this track that holds its own unique genius. The Cribs’ harsh and defined guitar and drum sounds were in perfect synch with the poetic verse read over this perfectly crafted noise.
For the final song of the evening the band selected their “favourite Cribs song”, ‘Pink Snow’. The seven minute long track chosen from the new album, a slow starting one with an effortless guitar to compliment the lyric ‘all my sisters’ repeated several times throughout, an obvious influence on the albums title. The song contains a similar repetition of wording in each main verse is broken up with a loud and fantastically aggressive guitar riff that contrasts with the gentle guitar and vocal sounds throughout the other points in the song. This was truly the song that made the night unforgettable, paired with front man Ryan’s explosive smash of his guitar into the speaker, it was a exciting and terrific end to the show that may be the last for ‘a long, long time’ (Gary Jarman).
Not only did the bands perfectly moulded indie punk sound of ‘broken strings’ and ‘cut lips’ make for an excellent night but the performance given by Ryan Jarman was one that made the night memorable. The frontman, known for his more edgy and frustrated style in comparison to his twin Gary, was often found upon the front barricade whilst playing throughout the night. Before exiting the guys came and high five’d the eager fans who had been stuck to the front of the stage for the entirety of the evening,who in fact had caught the blame for the knocking over of Ryan Jarman’s mic, a debatable cause after the showmanship of the front man.
The band, after over a decade of playing, have fully retained the distinct sound that has transcended and inspired many other bands of the time and there after. This was a great show that was not one to miss. Maria Macfarlane, GiggingNI.com