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The Cribs Hanging with Legends and Demonstrating Good Taste

I have a soft spot for British indie rockers The Cribs. They are a lot of fun live, and in frontman Ryan Jarman they have a laconic 21st Century boy with a line in dry one-liners. While I don’t think they have made a truly great record yet, there have been a few moments to encourage the listener into thinking that there is the potential there to do so. And there are signs recently of ever-expanding levels of maturity.

Firstly, on their recent UK tour, they were joined each night by Johhny Marr. What was notable was how richer they sounded when he played with them (possibly unsurprisingly given Marr is Britain’s most innovative guitarist of the last 25 years.) It defies belief that they could hang out with Johnny Marr and not learn more about what you can do with your sound. And now, even more thrillingly, they have been playing with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. How fucking cool is that? If that hasn’t shown them where they want to go – or more importantly, where they can go – then nothing will lift them out of the indie ghetto.

But this is a band way, way ahead of their indie compatriots. A friend of mine is a Cribs loyalist, and she showed me a limited edition vinyl copy of their last single. I noticed the b-side was a song called ‘Bastards of Young’. It had to be, right? I mean, that title is so definitive that it just had to be a cover of the Replacements classic. And indeed, it was Westerberg’s glorious racket they’d covered. But how the fuck did three early-20’s guys from Wakefield playing a defiantly British style of guitar music come across that song? Who cares? They obviously love music and are aware that there is more to it than the Beatles/Pistols/Oasis route some of their more limited contemporaries fixate on (Pigeon Detectives, we’re looking at you.)

So good luck to them. And if the next Cribs album is lauded as a meisterwork, maybe more groups will realise the merit in opening their minds and ears to those who have gone before. After all, there is a reason why these guys have been in music for decades.


3 Responses

  1. I like The Cribs. Mainly because ‘Mens Needs’ sounds brilliant when you play it loud.

    MENS needs
    MENS needs

  2. I love the cribs, and they have great taste in musical guest stars, but they don’t have good taste in girlfriends.

  3. Swinsehead – totally agree. A fabulously shouty song.

    Adrian Mole – The lovely Kate Nash? Granted, I’d need her to sign a binding document that she wouldn’t sing before buying her a drink, but the chubby little saucepot is a fine-looking lady!

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