Is there a mathematical equation that can work out the percentage of how much fun a gig was based on how many times you fell on the beer soaked floor or were elbowed in the rib by a reveler? In case you didn’t guess, it all got a bit rowdy at The Cribs, as is standard… and it was wonderful.
Opening up the final night of Haddow on the Fringe at The Picture House in Edinburgh was Nine Black Alps frontman Sam Forrest. Just him and his acoustic, the stripped back vibe really suited him and he sounded beautiful, showcasing some great playing. However, the setting wasn’t the best, the audience were still loading up on pre-Crib beers and the atmosphere drifted off up into the rafters. A more intimate setting would make this feel special.
Haddow Fest veterans the 10.04’s were next up. Having seen these guys a few times I was quite looking forward to hearing their brand of indie with a good bit of sing-a-long. The usual gig stalwarts were there such as the fervent ‘Throes’, and the brilliant closing track ‘About Tonight’. Alas all was not right… Watching them on stage, they looked like they were giving it some gusto, but that just wasn’t coming out of the speakers, the sound was muffled and very flat. Maybe ‘the sound guy was on a tea break’, rather than style over substance…at least I hope so…
Paws I had not seen or listened to before, but they were wonderfully wild! Heavy guitars, pounding rhythm and a bit shouty, the crowd were loving it and got pumped up (perhaps the beginning of the ‘beer floor’…). They’ve put in some serious road time this year and you can definitely tell that from the live show; very tight musicians that sung you into a punk party mood. Looking forward hearing more from them and going back to another show!
Now a decade into their careers The Cribs have a loyal following; some of the people I chatted to outside Picture House had been by the stage door since 10am hoping to catch a glimpse of them. It’s quite right too – they sound great on record, but they are band that were just born to play live. It’s visceral, energetic and beer soaked (that may have been just me), the kind of band that insights an audience to jump on top of each other whether that be involuntary hugging or crowd surfing (which is about 5 people over the top at any one time – look out for a face kicking). Quite simply – go watch The Cribs and you WILL have a good time. You can’t not, a band that gives you that much on stage is just infectious. Highlights for me were screaming along with ‘Come On, Be A No-One’ and the utterly gorgeous ‘Be Safe’ – you will struggle to find two songs that sound better live.
I danced my face off, bruised a hip, got covered in lager and sang to a random, all while listening to the Jarman’s awesome playing – I’m pretty happy with that!