REVIEW: The Cribs, O2 Academy, Newcastle

Ryan Jarman of The Cribs performing at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Katy Blackwood.
Ryan Jarman of The Cribs performing at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Katy Blackwood.
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The Cribs marked the first date of their latest UK tour with a 22-song set at Newcastle's O2 Academy.

The ever-popular indie rockers from Wakefield - who rarely break from touring - only returned from dates in the U.S. at the weekend, but showed no signs of jet-lag during a sprightly set.

Opening with 2007's Ancient History, the three brothers mixed old favourites up with material from their latest album For All My Sisters, the first to be released on their new, major-backed label Sonic Blew.

This resulted in a lengthy performance, reflecting the strength of an 11-year back catalogue including their self-titled debut and 2007's Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever.

An impressive Monday evening attendance rocked the venue's floor during the fan anthem I'm a Realist, and it proved to be a rowdy evening in general as the North East experienced the rare sight of a band kicking off their tour in the region.

Support came from Pulled Apart By Horses, a surprisingly heavyweight band for the tour, known for their energetic on-stage performance and raucous rock sound.

They took to the stage in a much quieter venue, and - playing in near darkness - put in a lively-as-ever, but ultimately lukewarm performance that didn't meet their usual standards for crowd-pleasing entertainment.

Opening were Glasgow's Paws, taking to the stage in front of a sparse crowd to a mostly lukewarm reaction, and receiving an awkward, minimal response to any attempts to engage the crowd.

Although well-rated and popular on two previous visits to the city, this wasn't their best night either, as the supports failed to inspire.

But twins Gary and Ryan and younger sibling Ross - with a Beatles-inspired drum skin labelled 'The Jarmans' - put on the necessary show to demonstrate that, while other bands of their era have floundered or split, The Cribs remain relevant live performers well into the 2010s.

The Cribs in action on the opening night of their tour at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Katy Blackwood.

The Cribs in action on the opening night of their tour at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Katy Blackwood.