Live review: The Cribs - First Direct Arena, Leeds 20.05.17

Photo credit: Rebecca Downing
Ten years ago three brothers from Wakefield released what will go down in history as one of the greatest album ever made. 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever' shaped The Cribs' career and it was down to this phenomenal album that Leeds Arena was the venue of choice. 

The first band to kick off proceedings was Leeds four-piece Pulled Apart By Horses, who took the task of playing to an arena within their stride. The crowd may not have been theirs but the band sure converted a few to their fan base. Mosh pits were in full flow as the band charged through tracks such as 'High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive'. 

Second on the list were punk duo Slaves, who played a lengthy set spanning both of their albums. Guitarist Laurie Vincent took some time to implore the crowd to register to vote in the upcoming election and were subsequently met with cheers. Sadly, the arena's size only pointed out the simplicity of Slaves set-up and whilst songs like 'Beauty Quest' were riotous, it did feel like a step too far.

Photo credit: Matthew Plumtree
Finally The Cribs took to the stage to play 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever', kicking things off with the incredible 'Our Bovine Public'. Ryan and Gary both looked overjoyed as they played the album in its entirety. To not mention 'Be Safe' the highlight of this record and this particular night would be a crime!

For the special night we lucky fans got to see Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo join The Cribs on stage to perform. After 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever' was performed in its entirety the hits just kept coming with the likes of 'Mirror Kissers' and 'Different Angle' being offered up. The night finally came to a close and confetti burst over the crowd during the wonderful 'Pink Snow'. 

Now as much as this is a review of the band's gig, and not the state of popular guitar music, it would be wrong not to mention something. With the likes of Arctic Monkeys (particularly Alex Turner) changing accents with each album, it's refreshing to see an unashamedly northern band take their rightfully earned time at the top. Let it be remembered that The Cribs turned up to play their biggest gig in a minivan rather than a tour bus. 

Words Jack Winstanley

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