Selling signed vinyls and limited edition CDs before a gig is such a Cribs thing to do. Every step of the way, the Cribs have been a live band in touch with what their fans want - amps turned 'up to 11', good music and lots and lots of memorabilia. I got myself a signed CD and a Cribs shirt, and then nestled into the young crowd at the front, taking in the awesome OTT decoration of The Assembly at Leamington Spa - golden orgies of cherubs against massive blue walls next to classical balustrades and art deco stained-glass windows. A very atmospheric and original venue to say the least, although impossible to get out of due to millions of flights of stairs.
The first band on were the Cribs' compatriots and friends Shrag. I liked them - they really did resemble Comet Gain - but the female singers had broken glass voices which began to get on the nerves after few songs. The music behind them was repetitive but enjoyable pop-noise. If that makes any sense at all.
Adam Green was next. What a riot. Whatever Adam Green was on, be it ecstasy, red bull or just life, it made him manic, running about and dancing, and therefore impossible to photograph. He came into the crowd... five times? And each time he threw himself in and got carried so far back that no more arms were available to carry him. The music was better than I'd expected - lots of guitar noise, super-speed drumming and hilarious lyrics. Adam Green. Perfect support, he got us all laughing and clapping along, and dedicated Superstar Blues to Queen Victoria.
The Cribs. Kate Nash watched from the sidelines, and the supports were lured out to the sides to join her as the noise started up. They played a selection from all of their albums, although the two most recent had the most focus. Setlist:
The highlights of the night for me were: Hey Scenesters! because it's always a mass sing-along, mass bop-along track; Another Number for the most singable riff in history, and the fact that it's such a classic, not a person in the venue wasn't soaring on its simplicity by the end; Be Safe because Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth was speaking his wonderful monologue on a projection on the back wall, and because it's Be Safe; and City of Bugs, the final song, which ended in a cacophony of noise with all four members of the Cribs doing something detrimental to their instruments, and Adam Green dancing at the side.
Great gig - it's a shame that Cribs don't do encores but that's the way it is. Nice venue, good crowd, wonderful music. It's the best way to spend an evening.