The Cribs @ Theatre Royal Wakefield-16th May 2012

The Cribs returned to Wakefield for their first hometown show in over five years and to say it was a success would be an understatement.  I had my doubts about how suitable the venue was but as soon as I walked in I felt how good the atmosphere was and how such a venue was very fitting for the occasion.
Support came from, Tennessee’s the Black Belles and Retarded Fish who have gone down in Wakefield’s folklore.  The Black Belles’ take on garage rock with a hint of goth had a great sound and has made me want to check them out some more.  I had heard about Retarded Fish before but can confess to never have heard anything by them or seen them before and I have to say it was an excellent set full of some brilliant punk rock, it was also nice to see The Cribs giving credit to the people in their past.
It was then time for the Jarman brothers, ably assisted by second live guitarist David Jones, to take the stage.  The set they played was pretty much perfect with material from all five albums as well as a couple of B-sides thrown in for good measure. 
The Cribs rattled through songs from their most recent four albums early on in the set, of which I’m a Realist and Hey Scenesters!particularly stood out although you can’t pick any fault with any of the other tunes as the band were on top form.  After bashing through some more indie rock gems they then slowed it down with Don’t Believe In Me the great B-side from their latest single.  I have to add how much the band seemed to enjoy being in Wakefield as well as a highly appreciative crowd who got to see a very rare hometown gig from The Cribs.
It’s easy to see why The Cribs have such staunch supporters when they put in performances like this and out of the next set of songs it was the sublime To Jackson, an old B-side which really emphasised this.  They followed this with a trio of songs from their first album, which helped remind me just how great that record is, Another Number always goes down well with its sing along intro.  Be Safe was up next which saw an AV of Lee Ranaldo backed up by a cacophony of noise from the band and was certainly one of my highlights of the whole evening.
The Cribs punk rock attitude always comes out in their shows and We Were Aborted sounded particularly heavy.  They ended with the majestic City of Bugs before going into Arena Rock Encore with Full Castwhich ended the evening to a wall of noise.
Overall this was an absolutely fantastic night and its times like these that make you proud to be from Wakefield.
Matt Hill
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