Gig review: The Cribs, Thurston Moore Group, Pulled Apart By Horses and Menace Beach at Millennium Square, Leeds

Counting my collection of tickets and wristbands, it dawned on me that this would be the 36th time I'd seen The Cribs perform live. What I had not counted on was this being my third hospital visit post-Cribs gig.

The Cribs in Millennium Square, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
The Cribs in Millennium Square, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

What the music industry has failed to understand, is that The Cribs and their fans are a community. Cult band suggests some odd ball fad that I’ve never been agreeable on as a description for the brothers.

Fans from as far as Japan, America, Spain and all corners of the UK, descended onto Leeds Millennium Square to witness Ryan, Gary and Ross perform what the band are now rightly declaring their number one gig of their career.

The Jarmans wouldn’t be wrong. This was the historic gig we were all promised. Turning the outdoor venue into a makeshift festival atmosphere, complete with beer tents and pop-up merch stalls, fans stood around in groups, some meeting up through forums and twitter groups for the first time, exchanging their stories of the band.

The day was more than just about The Cribs though, with their continued effort to showcase both local bands and favourites from further a field.

Menace Beach played a great opening set to an early crowd, proving once again that like The Cribs, they are a strong live act and fit well onto the billing.

Pulled Apart By Horses drew a loyal Leeds crowd, making the most of the surrounding buildings, to reverberate their sonic power and distortion throughout most of West Yorkshire it seemed.

The Cribs have a long history with Sonic Youth, having recorded with Lee Ranaldo on their third album, and now showcasing Thurston Moore as the final support act of the evening. The audience were spoilt with both solo and Sonic Youth tracks from his vast catalogue, prompting audience participation and crowd sing-a-longs.

The Cribs blistered through their set, everything was up for grabs. Old favourites, recent singles from their latest album and lesser played studio cuts got an airing.

This wasn’t a ‘best of’ set, this was the Cribs’ curriculum vitae. A statement to bands everywhere, that this is the level you need to be working at to gain the loyalty and passion of fans on this scale.

I broke my rib in two places stood at the front of the crowd. That’s the dedication level we are all willing to offer, for a band that have never let the fans down.