Kings College Student’s Union, London - 19/08/2008
“We’re The Cribs from Wakefield and Manchester”, says singer Ryan Jarman as he acquaints the audience gathered in London’s KCSU with his band, and Johnny Marr, former guitarist of The Smiths (Who of course needs no introduction) as the band tear through Our Bovine Republic.
This show may be an intimate contrast to the band’s Reading and Leeds festival appearance, but it’s far from a warm-up as the energy soars further during, Hey Scenesters and, Don’t You Want To Be Relevant.
The frontman then treats the crowd to newer song, Victims of Mass Production co-written with Johnny Marr. Even the sing-a-longs during the guitar melodies in the intros to old gem, Another Number and last year’s anthem, Men’s Needs (Which should induce a cringe as each hum surfaces) cannot taint the seemingly natural amalgamation on stage.
It’s frustrating then that the set is punctured with sound problems, which at one point makes the gig project with all the force of a grainy live recording pulled from the archives of a radio station basement, as if it was aired through ear muffs. Yet, the boys continue as they shout, sing and strike their instruments with relentless sincerity and effort.
The pace drops as the streams of reflections from Sonic Youth’s, Lee Ranaldo in Be Safe are soaked up like an all consuming dream before everyone in the room is grounded once more for a tell-it-like-it-is ending with I’m A Realist.