Giant Drag and The Cribs @ Leeds University
Saturday 25th February 2006

Giant Drag

A bustling Saturday night at Leeds University Refectory for the sell out Cribs 'Home Coming' (well they are from West Yorkshire) gig. There was an almost calm before the storm as I went through the doors and into the venue.

Sadly I missed Jeffrey Lewis who was first up. I'd like to say it was not my fault but I decided that I would prefer another few pints in The Old Bar before going to check out Giant Drag and The Cribs.

It was a good job I filled up while I could as the oversized queue for drinks inside the Refectory was more than enough to keep me sober until I ventured to Automatic afterwards.

I got in just into Giant Drags first number of the night. For an act containing Annie on Guitar and Micah on Drums/Synthesiser they produced a mighty fine ear bashing sound. The obvious thought would be, a girl and a boy…. from America…. with a drum and a guitar…. The White Stripes?!?! Ok so the thump on the drums is reminiscent, however its hard for drum thumping to sound different. However they are a unique act with a sound all to themselves.

Annie's vocals have a healthy sound with a slight anarchist punk tinge to them. A more than vibrant warm up to headliners The Cribs. Songs that stand out in their set are 'Kevin Is Gay' and 'This Isn't It'. A nice finish was made to a compelling set and a fitting way to leave the crowd waiting for the Cribs.

A strange interlude after Giant Drag greeted us in our wait for the Cribs. The ghost of the Stock Aitken Waterman era seemed to be haunting the Refectory. Songs from back in the day including Rick Astley 'Never Gonna Give You Up' are played one after another. As much as I love the 80's and enjoy a bit of new romantics, I felt slightly uneasy awaiting an Indie Pop gig listening to S.A.W. greatest hits!

After what seemed like an eternity the stage was alight as the Jarman's entered the arena. They were straight into 'Mirror Kissers' which, unlike the beer queue was worth waiting for. It definitely set the tempo for what was to be a fine set of live music.

After a couple of tracks we were treated to seeing the post NME table diving scar of Ryans. All I can say is 'ouch' this is one mother of a scar. It didn't appear to be hindering him as he carried on with the set.

The lights on stage were flashing like lightening in an electrical storm, with some stand up (and stand on chair drumming), crowd singing along to the obvious favourites 'Hey Scenesters' and 'You're Gonna Lose Us' and faultless vocals this was one of the best gigs I have seen this year.

I would recommend that anyone who owns their latest album 'New Fellas' goes out to buy the first album 'Cribs' (now that more copies are available again) as it is a more than worth challenger to the sequel. Another of the never ending Indie Pop bands coming out of the 'New Yorkshire' music scene who sound as good live as they do when pumping out of your stereo.

The Cribs are definitely ones to go see live, not forgetting the punk pop of Giant Drag who get a more than honourable mention!

Dom Chalk

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