The Cribs
Cambridge Junction

Interpret the name of the new Cribs album how you like, but it all becomes oh so clear when on the Jarmans’ command, the crowd yell “it's a shame that we just can’t ignore the ignorant”.

With a band like the Cribs, there’s no faffing. They erupt with a piercing panel of white lights and the Marr-led riff of “We Were Aborted” and end abruptly with the same fist-in-mouth attitude, disappearing off the stage like the band members suddenly got teleported - quicker than the temper of the fat bouncer.

The support acts tonight are a carnival of oddities, which compared to the last tours of indie fodder (simply there to direct attention to the headliners) is surprising.

An audience of frozen-to-the-spot trendys survey Lissy Trullies’ coons and woops with a motionless apathy, contrasting then with Adam Green's poppy gypsy songs that spark a sense of energy into Cambridge; as Indie Bohos’ gradually start to twist their stick-legs and sparky-Adam swaggers to and fro like a macho Mick Jagger.

not lissy trullie!

Adam Green delivers a captivating set, busting Pulp Fiction dance sequence moves with a slinky suave manner throughout, delivering his curious booze-tinged pop-songs with a stiff head and a pill-faced alertness, matched to an idiosyncratic style - which is surprisingly charismatic; then his set closes with a crowd-pleasing song about “Jessica Simpson”.

Finally then to a flash of white light - The Cribs canter into hulky lad-rock with a smooth charm. Progression or not; this is a Cribs gig and every teenie-boho and Marr-revivalist is here to be a “realist”- checking their fringes and giving a little pout while they're at it- there is no denying however that a widespread passion emerges from the crowd tonight and that the reception to the new album is much bigger than before : whether this be because of Marrs’ presence or not, it seems impossible not to love it.

While Marr flutters with the reverb-laden charm of old, the Jarmans deliver the brash all-out attack on their chords that captivated the audience.

Pic : by Valerio Berdini

Particular highlights are the hypnotic “City Of Bugs” where Ryan Jarman spits with Joe Strummer fury “I’m a messed up baby, I’m a Berlin wall tonight” then propelling into My Bloody Valentine skydives of reverb-greased guitar, leading then later into the resonating old track “Be Safe” which features a projected video of Sonic Youth guitarist ‘Lee Roneldo’ booming like the voice of Orwell's Big Brother over the uplifting music.

The cynics are critical of Marr's part in the band; “publicity stunt”, “excuse to sell records” and so on. But compared with Morrissey’s major-label pop records twinned with tight-arsed tours to seated audiences, it seems that Johnny Marr's presence is actually anything but a stunt - more a revival of the feeling he felt in boozey rock in sweaty small venues just like the old days, except of course - well… he’s now an icon.

Joey Eyebank