“I predict a riot,” someone once sang. While a soporific second album makes it unlikely that the Kaiser Chiefs will ever predict anything more heart-racing than a mass outbreak of narcolepsy again, it’s still fitting for the Wakefield trio they once held up as the next best thing.
All hail The Cribs! Genius third album in the bag, world domination frantically paging them to let them know he’s waiting in the porch with a fame ‘n’ fortune seeking missile, and yet they still perform as if they were stood playing to three men and a less than bothered dog at the Shit and Hole in deepest darkest Yorkcestershire.
Not that we mind. Not that we care. Dress it up in all manner of fuzzy guitars, spray Stella at it until it’s drenched through to the skin, attempt to mask it behind a nicotine fuelled “don’t-give-a-fuck” facade, it changes nothing. The Cribs are an amazing pop band.
A ten seconds blast of the chorus of an utterly delirious Hey Scenesters! is all you need to hear to prove that point. Chuck in a foundation shaking Mirror Kissers, garnish with a version of I’m Alright screamed back at the stage with gusto enough to send James Murphy‘s sarcasm meter off the scale and, well, it’s just gilding the indie lily.
And whatever you do to the lily after gilding, then that’s what the new album is going to do to it. Unsurprising maybe, given that approximately 60% of the tracks from Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever couldn’t demand sing-a-longs more without breaking into your house, spraying their words on the walls in twelve foot high neon letters and stapling a lyrics sheet to your forehead, but the ease with which they slipped in tonight was still mighty impressive.
So if Hey Scenesters! was the teacher of danceable disdain, then Our Bovine Public is the swotty bastard in the front row with its hand permanently in the air. The last single Men’s Needs is the song The Strokes have all but given up trying to write, delivered as if it was knocked up one lunchtime between episodes of Countdown, while the opening two-bar steal from I Wanna Be Adored on Women’s Needs sounds even more blatant here, yet the fact it’s stood at the front of a song of such subtle romantic confusion and lolloping grace means you can’t help but smile.
When the oh-so predictable Ryan stage dive occurs, when the dust settles on a appropriately climactic, guitar ruining Ancient History the thought but can’t help but occur: bugger Satan, it’s The Cribs with the monopoly on the best tunes.