Talk about saving the best ’til last! It’s 1 o’clock on Monday morning in Spain and after a few technical difficulties, Wakefield’s favourite sons are playing the Radio 3 FiberFib stage as the last act of my week along with many others in the crowd.
Before they ripped into Mirror Kissers I was stood with a guy who had now made it to 55 of these lads’ gigs. He was hoping to make it to 100 by 2019 – I think it’s fair to say that he won’t have been to many festival sets that beat the one they did at Beni’ last Sunday.
The amount of times a band of The Cribs’ size play songs from a brand new album and get more of an observation than enthusiasm from a crowd goes a long way to commending just how good this band are in around the corner of West Yorkshire they hail from. Take second song A Different Angle for example, it’s from ‘For All My Sisters’ that was released in late March this year – you’d expect the first few rows to be reciting every line back, and the rest giving a polite nod to a drum beat they don’t quite know yet. Instead, you’ve got the front third crowd-surfing, the middle avoiding the chaos yet chanting back to the band and the back doing that polite nodding thing – to be fair, they were probably only there because Bastille are absolutely unbearably terrible.
Come On, Be A No One was next, from the album of which the title is one of my favourite – ‘In The Belly of The Brazen Bull’ and then An Ivory Hand from this year. Both superb, but would feel slightly disappointed for being a warm-up for a run of 5 songs which can’t even be competed with by anyone over the weekend. A mad 20 minutes the was set off by one of the best festival crowds I’ve been in chanting back the intro to 2004’s Another Number followed by 3 songs from arguably their pinnacle ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’. The breathless Our Bovine Public performed as good as it ever has been, Cheat On Me was crossed off the setlist after the sound problems earlier but managed to squeeze itself in by popular demand – especially from me, its a cracker. Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth’s face appears on the screen and begins the spoken word poetry that features throughout Be Safe. Words that can mesmerise you even after 7 straight days of drinking in the Valencian sunshine – have a look here. Then came We Share The Same Skies, the black skies that were dotted with stars, cloudless on the last night of a brilliant festival as they were from the first day.
Burning For No-One the single from the most recent album. A clean-cut sound, a great video. The intro to I’m A Realist, the pace snowballing into dialogue between the two Jarman brothers, a brilliant example of the success they’ve had with two lead vocalists. They’re probably most known for their penultimate song, Men’s Needs and it still justifies its popularity. Then, the real show of intent – finishing with Pink Snow from ‘For All My Sisters’, countless bands go back to an old favourite for their last song but The Cribs are quite happy with how their last LP went down and have gone with the final track of it to finish off a tremendous set.
There couldn’t possibly have been a better band to round-up Benicassim, the best of the weekend. Sorry Noel.
And according to their Facebook page, the wait for a UK Tour “is almost over”.