Live at Cockpit on Thursday, 13th May 2004
The Rocket Bar does not look very welcoming to The Old House tonight as they take the stage, fewer than 30 people are in the room watching though this soon changes as the blast through opener Platoon.
The obvious comparisons to the Strokes etc. are going to be drawn as The Old House batter out their first few tracks, however you get the feeling that if the Strokes had a drummer playing his little socks off like Matt Knee, had more catchy little plinky plonky bits like these guys do and coupled with the funny-gritty real life lyrics these guys do, then to my jaded musical ears the Strokes would be a lot better band.
Bill tells us we are being treated to a brand new song tonight, which he dedicates to 'someone'. Pretty Young Thing is just that; it's a bloody good brand new song, which just about does its best to capture The Old House at their best.
The crowd has now started to swell and all around people are getting into this now. Heads are bobbing and feet are tapping.
On stage the band rip through a set of what can't have been more than ten songs at ferocious pace, obviously this is raw and ready, there are few off notes but it all just adds to the performance and when you a see a crowd full of people grinning and nodding their heads I don't think they minded either. The band don't seem to mind either and a clearly enjoying themselves on-stage.
Although the crowd were still a lot more reserved than their recent gig at Esco Bar which saw scenes of mass hysteria, Say It If You Mean It brings a cheer from The Old House faithful in the crowd. You get the feeling though that in a few months down the line these guys might be back here playing higher up and people will be doing more than nodding their heads.
One last point on these the vocals have been picked up on in the past, it has to be said neither Bill nor Craig are going to win any places on Pop Idol, but then again who wants a band singing about life in Wakefield to be a polished singer? The guys have improved but have kept that gritty Yorkshire twang at the same time, can't fault it!
At this point I had to go meet my mate and missed most of Atlantic Dash, I caught the last two songs. The second to last I like, big post rock sound with some twinkley keys thrown in on top. Very good vocal ranges, but the song seemed to last two long for my liking. Then the last song seemed very much the same as the last one and kind of got on my nerves a bit.
But as I said didn't see the full set so it would be a bit unfair to pass full comment on them.
Then as we were waiting for The Cribs as I had time to ponder over their situation, seeing as they took what seemed like an age to come on. The last time I had seen The Cribs (the Bobby Conn gig) I was not impressed at all, it was probably the worst performance I had seen of them (in fact quite possibly the only bad performance I had seen of them), and I've seen them perform a lot of times over the years and was hoping that this was not to become a trend.
However my fears were soon allayed as the Brothers Jarman took the stage all three looking every inch of the 'rock-stars' they have become.
The brothers hammered through a brilliant set that was a typical 'brilliant' Cribs gig.
We were treated to (I think) 3 new songs all which are a bit lower tempo than a typical Cribs song but all 3 were pure indie pop classics. The highlight of the 3 is to be included as the B - Side on upcoming single What About Me Ryan tells us.
There's no point in me describing the sound of The Cribs because I think everyone in Leeds just about knows now. Standout songs such as Baby Don't Sweat, Things You Should Be Knowing (which in my opinion is the greatest track on the album), Another Number, You Were Always The One and Direction, ignited the crowd down the front who enjoyed a good jump around for most of the set, one lad in particular spending most the gig aloft on people's arms or jumping from the stage.
Ryan decided to follow suit but the crowd not ready for this feat of aerial skills let poor Ryan come crashing to the floor almost, which he replied to when back on stage 'Come on this is Leeds, you should be catching me', with a smile.
Third Outing sees the typical shambolic ending were used now by the Cribs, with Ryan celebrating coming to Leeds and being near the end of the tour with a huge bottle of Heineken, shaped like a huge bottle of Moet, fitting really for lads from Wakey.
They close with The Watch Trick, the albums opener and people flood the stage to join the brothers in their celebrations, Ryan gives a mic to two excitable youths who just barely remember the words. At the end no-one wants to leave the stage least of all Ryan who has a quick pad about on the drums then leaves, and it's left to security to clear the stage.
Reactions from everyone after the gig?! Franz who? The what? The who's?
The Cribs are surely not going to be playing these tiny venues for much longer tonight they sum up why they are Leeds best band and I don't think many people at that gig would disagree.