Review: The Cribs, Liquid Room

WE’VE all been there, down the front watching your favourite band, hands outstretched in the vain hope of receiving a healing touch from the singer or guitarist. ****

Well, the bridge between fan and idol can occasionally be a painful one for both parties.

Halfway through The Cribs’ set, a crowd surfer reached out to grab Cribs frontman, Ryan Jarman, as security attempted to discard him like a nettle from a patch of weeds.

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Jarman caught hold of his admirer and thus began a bizarre tug-of-war, resulting in a win for the bouncer and Jarman ending up on his backside, having been dragged across the stage.

It’s this kind of thing that makes live music entertaining.

Up until then, it was every- thing you’d expect from a Cribs show – sweat dripping from the ceiling, large groups of men chanting in a football-terrace manner, pints of beer flying everywhere except down the throat.

Meanwhile, onstage, the three Jarman brothers – bassist Gary, drummer Ross, and crowd-puller extraordinaire, guitarist Ryan – appeared to be suffering no ill effects from the departure of one-time member, former Smiths’ axe-man, Johnny Marr.

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In some ways, the loss of Marr has re-galvanised the trio (although a touring guitar player was present, he spent most of the time lurking in the shadows dodging pint cups).

Trudging on to the strains of Kiss’ God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You, The Cribs then generally bashed, clashed and smashed their way through 75-minutes worth of old favourites and well-received newbies. Simple as that.

Ryan was his usual cheeky self. However, singing side-on to the crowd amidst wailing feedback, and never shy of making a few bold quips, Ryan isn’t half the singer his brother Gary is.

Indeed, while Ryan can sell the songs, Gary knows how to knock them into tunes.

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Two years ago, The Cribs easily filled a cavernous Corn Exchange. Playing the (much smaller) Liquid Room may be a sign of the Wakefield trio’s decrease in popularity. Nevertheless, to see them in such close quarters is to see them at their raucous best.

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