The Cribs review – like setting off a firework in a tin can

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
The Jarman brothers messily assault their punkish indie oeuvre with a rush that feels positively Proustian in its recall of the mid-noughties

It’s something akin to setting off a firework in a tin can, seeing the Cribs pack a hardcore of their combustive fan base into such a small venue. The crowd-surf across King Tut’s is short, but repeatedly made by tumbling bodies booting the low-hanging lighting rig as they go. The Jarman brothers – wiry vocal-swapping twins Ryan and Gary on guitar and bass with younger brother Ross on drums – messily assault their punkish indie oeuvre with a rush that feels positively Proustian in its recall of the mid-noughties when guitars still owned British pop.

Not that this trio are simply living in the past, or allowing a stint with Johnny Marr as a member between 2008-2011 to define them. Led by the Weezer-cribbing An Ivory Hand, and their most successful single to date in Burning for No One, their sixth album For All My Sisters restates this gang-like group’s enduring instinct for wringing an impossibly rich variety of indelibly hooky songs out of practically the same three chords.

Only the Jarmans’ mother could love Gary’s painfully straining voice during Another Number, although in fairness a vocal coach did once tell him that the song really requires a Freddie Mercury-esque four-octave vocal range. He won’t be the only one feeling hoarse in the morning, with the audience roaring along – not just to the words but even the guitar riffs at times – throughout this largely best-of set, from the fuzzed-out slacker rock of Come On, Be a No One through the Marr-era skyscraping anthemry of We Share the Same Skies and irony-drenched 2005 breakout single Hey Scenesters!

Fever pitch is reached as a shambling burst of Teenage Fanclub’s Sparky’s Dream prefaces Men’s Needs, and a steady wave of young men fulfill their need to be roughly tossed towards the crowd-barriers on a sea of their peers.

• At The Ritz, Manchester, 25 February (0844 248 5117). Details:


Malcolm Jack

The GuardianTramp

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