Maximo Park and The CribsEdit this event
- Apollo, Manchester »
Tonight feels like an end of term celebration rather than the first night of a tour.
If anyone had predicted the rise and rise of these three bands this time last year to platinum album status ('Employment') and being regular fixtures in the top ten I'm sure most people would have been calling for the psychiatrist to pass on a few wise words. Nevertheless, with tickets being sold outside at over six times their face value for a show that was sold out within hours of being announced, the word meteoric comes to mind when assessing the real impact of, in particular, The Kaiser Chiefs' ascension.
First on while most people are still outside in the queue are The Cribs, who themselves have shot up from being the perennial third on the bill at the Bull And Gate to The Others and The Paddingtons to genuine pop contenders themselves. Indeed their rise is akin to that of Wigan Athletic in the Premiership - third tier strugglers for so long, with bags of potential just waiting to be let loose. With a set largely drawn from their singles, this would have probably been met with ecstatic whoops of joy at one of their own shows, as 'Martell' and 'You Were Always The One' sounded like coarse anthems that finally bridged the gap between unevenly paved terraces and brand spanking new all seater stadia, although quite what the mums and dads taking little Johnny to his first concert outside Dick and Dom's Bungalow made of Ryan Jarman's stage trashing antics at the end God only knows.
When Maximo Park take the stage, Paul Smith's comb over immaculately in place as ever, their smart suits and general demeanour look more befitting to a venue like this old theatre than the Cribs' t-shirts and jeans. That is until they start to play, as their relentless touring and festival appearances seems to have developed a new level of frantic behaviour within their stage show. Indeed Smith and keyboard player Luke Wooller spend most of the set trying to out-weird each other in the dance routine stakes, while the likes of 'Graffiti', 'Limassol' and 'All Over The Shop' seem to be played at 125 mph, only slamming the brakes on in time for the last note each time. In fact, it's hard to imagine a band like Maximo Park losing their appeal with such a subservient image and bucketful of sprightly tunes at their disposal, and even their sole newie 'Warchild' contribution 'Wasteland' makes its live UK debut here - goes down with the familiarity of a tin of sardines to next door's cat. Practice makes perfect as they say, because this time next year only a fool would bet against this lot headlining this kind of setting.
The Kaiser Chiefs on the other hand are like the real divine inspiration for any band struggling to get any further than their local pub. After years of virtual anonymity as Parva, their hard work has paid off while in frontman Ricky Wilson, they have a bonafide successor to the irritating but successful Robbie Williams, the only difference being that Wilson IS actually one of us, a genuine product of the indie ghetto rather than someone who is pretending at being.
If anything, their live show does resemble something out of a 'Phoenix Nights' style cabaret night out, with all kinds of neon bulbs flashing everywhere, and Wilson's repertoire including various ad libbed audience singalongs, the obligatory 'woooaaah-ooooaaah-OOOOAAAAHHH's that seem to punctuate every ( we counted eight ) song, and even getting one of his backroom team on stage for a cheek to cheek dance during the lighters aloft swoon of 'You Can Have It All'.
What they do have though that stands them out from any disposable pop band is an army of tunes that simply demand to be hummed, sung aloud, danced and even throw the kitchen sink at, and even obscure b-sides like 'Hard Times Send Me' and 'Take My Temperature' get a rousing welcome alongside the more familiar, radio friendly stuff which I'm sure you all know the names of by now.
For the encore, the Warchild theme is adhered to once more as the Chiefs deliver a faultless run through of Marvin Gaye's 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine', the only alarming point being that this is their only new - in the loosest sense of the word - material, something which probably doesn't bode too well for band or record company's future intentions, but when all's said and done, it's the here and the now that matters, and at this moment in time, Ricky Wilson and his merry men are simply the best in the business.
- The Cribs - Payola 2002-2012
- This Week's Singles 11.02.13: Darwin Deez, Tempest Storm, Charli XCX, The Cribs
- Watch: Suede, Foals, Richard Hawley, The Cribs, Everything Everything live for 6 Music
- In Photos: The Cribs @ Sheffield Academy
- DiS Predicts: The Mercury Prize 2012 nominees
- Leeds Festival 2012: Drowned In Sound's Sunday blog
- DiS meets Johnny Marr & Nile Rodgers - "The greatest artistic motivator in music is jealousy"
- This Week's Singles: 09/07/12 Big Black Delta, Deco Child, Meursault, The 2 Bears