I’ve tried to write this article a few times. But every time I start, I fangirl. The Cribs are just that good. Tuesday night saw the band take the stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg for 90 minutes of loud, sweaty fun, and enough distortion to make My Bloody Valentine more than a little jealous.
This show was part of the band’s second trip to New York this year, in promotion of their most recent album For All My Sisters. On October 30th, they’ll be releasing their “Summer of Chances“ single as a limited 7’, with the deliciously grungy “Wish I Knew You In The 90s“ as the B-side.
For those of you unfamiliar with the band, it consists of Wakefield-born twins Ryan and Gary Jarman on guitar and bass respectively, and brother Ross Jarman on the drums. They’re the third most popular band that have had Johnny Marr as a member.
As soon as The Cribs set foot onstage Tuesday night it became clear that there was a sizeable crowd from England that had come to see them. Intermittent chants of “Yorkshire” echoing throughout the audience lasted through the duration of the show, and served as a reminder that even rock stars are not immune to a good ribbing.
After performing the first couple of songs, Gary held up his bandaged wrist and explained to the crowd that his playing may not be as energetic as usual. This was followed by the band taking turns telling the audience how they toured with Aerosmith in 2010, but managed to piss them off by the end of it. The banter came to a close with the audience singing Happy Birthday to Ross. For the record, it was actually Ross’ birthday.
The Cribs’ stage show is pretty no-frills, relying solely on simple lighting and the frenetic stage presence of Ryan, often rendering him a challenge to photograph in a way that didn’t make him look like a colorful blur. Hell, that probably would’ve suited him. And it’s not like the audience cared. Whereas so many shows these days are dominated by kids taking endless photos of a band they’re only “meh” on, the audience was every bit as into the show as the band, moshing and even crowd surfing along with the best of them.
The highlight of the night came when the curtains opened at the back of the stage, revealing a projection screen used to show footage of Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo along with an audio recording of his spoken-word vocals on the incredible “Be Safe“. A week prior, Ranaldo had joined The Cribs live during their show at Montreal’s Fairmount Theatre for the same performance.
The show closed with “Pink Snow“, the song whose lyrics gave For All My Sisters its title. At seven minutes and thirteen seconds long, it was a great way to hold on to a great show just a little bit longer. After that, they were gone. There was no encore; we were all spent.
Listen: The Cribs