Live at Millennium Square on Friday, 22nd July 2016
Summer in the city is well underway and what better way to kick off than with some of Yorkshire's finest playing to a packed Millenium Square crowd. The line-up provided plenty to savour for a summers eve. The Cribs headlining a stellar line-up which includes Menace Beach, Pulled Apart by Horses and Thurston Moore.
Menace Beach looked more than comfortable on this stage and managed to re-create the grungy indie grind that is a hallmark of their performances in and around the smaller venues of Leeds. The twinned vocals of Ryan Needham and Liza Violet create a delightful topping to the bands sound.
Pulled Apart by Horses up the energy levels and rip through an action packed set filled with angry noise, and hairy acrobatics. There is so much going on that it is difficult to know where to focus in a set filled with short bursts of the Horses back catalogue. The opening soundbite of "I Punched A Lion In The Throat" and "V.E.N.O.M." had the crowd hooked, confused or scared to death depending on whether you love your music on the edge or prefer nicely crafted indie pop. The finale saw James Brown hurl his guitar into the heavens during "High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive" leaving everyone wondering whether the nearby Leeds General Infirmary may be getting a visit to the Guitar Related Injuries Ward.
In a stark contrast Thurston Moore's set features just four songs and much less energy. This might sound like it was a short set, but it isn't. "Cease Fire", "Turn On", "Aphrodite" and "Ono Soul" fill up the available time. The energy is more like a slow cooker and it takes a while to get going, but still produces some tasty morsels.
The Cribs arrive to a warm reception, and rip through a set that covered their whole back catalogue. There is an air of triumph from the beginning, with Ross Jarman standing high on his drum kit, arm raised in salute. This is, after all, a home gig. The remaining Jarman's launch into 'Ancient History'. The scene could be set for a safe greatest hits set, but there is a reasonably chunky slice of material from the recent 'For All My Sisters' release starting with 'Different Angle'. The newer songs are neatly sandwiched between the old favourites so the pace of the set never misses a beat, even with the slower paced 'An Ivory Hand', and 'Wish I Knew You In The 90s' coming together.
The sound may be a bit patchy in places, but nobody seems to care. The crowd is lively and boisterous, with the air filled at various points with confetti, streamers, pints of beer (hopefully) and chants of 'Yorkshire'. Everyone looks to be having a good time.
The set reaches its finale with a run of favourites including, "Hey Scenesters", "Leather Jacket Love Song" and "Mens Needs". The Cribs demonstrate why they have not only survived where many bands who started at the same time have become distant memories, but gathered momentum along the way.
As the crowd slowly trundle out of Millennium Square it would be easy to think that the streets of the city really were paved with gold. The disappointment upon finding it is just the yellow confetti strips is lessened by the soundtrack that the local bands left in the homeward bound crowd's heads.