More than a decade has passed since Wakefield’s famous sons, The Jarmans burst onto the early Noughties indie scene. Fittingly, this Roundhouse show was presented by the band as their rightful return to Camden; a place that has launched them into the consciousnesses of the London based music industry. “I think we’ve now played every venue in Camden” observed bassist, Gary, and he can’t be far wrong. I have personally seen them play Koko at the opposite end of the road, as well as The Forum in Kentish Town, less than a mile’s walk northwards.
Unlike bands who jettison their old crowd favourites for new songs in order to promote a new album, The Cribs’ setlist draws mostly from their 2007 release, “Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever”. Set opener comes in the form of album track from said album, “Ancient History”, and it is greeted as rapturously by the crowd as any of the indie club favourites The Cribs are known for. Just as timeless as their set selection is the crowd’s reaction; within 3 songs, the front rows are already giving off the unique evaporation of chucked beer and spilt sweat. The band accordingly go through the early songs with helter skelter haste, blasting through the likes of “I’m A Realist” and “C’mon Be A No-One”, while the first airing of a song from their latest album, “For All My Sisters” in the form of “Different Angle” sees it shorn of its subtler pop sensibilities for a fast and furious live rendition. The pace relents little until breakthrough 2002 hit, “Another Number”, a vintage demonstration of an era when a wiry guitar riff can form the entirety of a bands persona. The crowd obligingly chant along, “duh duh daduh doo de duh”. While the old favourites keep on coming in the form of “Hey Scenesters”, “You’re Gonna Lose Us” and “Mirror Kissers”, new tracks, “Summer Of Chances” and “Pacific Time” demonstrate why “All My Sisters” was so well received by critics. The Cribs now can write a pop song to sway rather than jump to, and lyrical content take on a philosophical edge too, with lines such as, “Nature versus nurture, which one is the stronger?”
The encore is another music industry custom the ever-rebellious Jarmans do not conform to. After a suitably drained floor erupt in one final bop-along to arguably the band’s best known song, “Men’s Needs”, Ryan tells us “This is the final song, there will be no encore” in the manner of a conference host preparing their guests for the need to check up on their travel plans. Set closer, “Pink Snow” is well worth staying for however, an epic seven minute song blending their ability to combine reverb driven riffs with moments of punky energy. With this demonstration of a decade of career hits, The Cribs continue to cement their position as one of the leaders of their generation of bands.