English trio The Cribs celebrate 10 years and five albums at The Rosemount Hotel on Tuesday, October 29, with support from The Love Junkies. TRAVIS JOHNSON catches up with bassist/singer Gary Jarman to find out what’s changed over the past decade and what’s stayed the same.
With their 10th anniversary having coincided with the release of their Best Of collection, Payola, which hit shelves back in March, you could be forgiven for expecting The Cribs’ Australian dates to be little more than an exercise in paint-by-numbers Greatest Hits recycling.
Bass player Gary Jarman, one third of the band alongside his twin brother, Ryan and younger sibling, Ross, disagrees. Although he admits that sections of the band’s back catalogue will be rummaged through, they’re perhaps not the ones you’d expect.
“It’s kinda gonna be based on Payola in some ways,” he says in a thick Yorkshire accent. “But I’m hoping that, rather than new stuff we go back to some deep cuts from the first couple of records. Because we didn’t get to come out to Australia on the first record, we’re hoping that maybe we can make it up to the fans. That’s why we’re doing small venues really, and going back to the early stuff, have it be more of a deep cut rather than a Best Of tour. I mean, obviously there’ll be some stuff off the compilation record, but hopefully it’ll be more deep cuts. That’s my intention, anyway.”
For Jarman, it’s a chance to get away from the expected and try something more out there and interesting – a tendency the band pride themselves on. Infrequent visits to Australia have meant that, previously, their shows here have been somewhat more conservative than they might have liked and this tour, hitting smaller venues and playing to more intimate crowds, is an opportunity to remedy that.
“When you come out there you kind of want to make the set bullet proof, and the people who see you… you’ve got to try and do a good job of encapsulating the last few years. So that means that you kind of play the more well known stuff. But the idea of coming out this time is to try and make it more esoteric. I’m hoping that, with the smaller venues, it’ll be more conducive to having a dialogue with the crowd and playing more things off the cuff and not really plan the setlist too much.”
Jarman hopes this will bring The Cribs back towards something resembling their early sound, which was marked by reckless experimentation and a commitment to never doing the same thing the same way twice.
“When I look back over those 10 years I think that, to some degree, we have deviated from what our original modus operandi was, which was about spontaneity and unconventionality, but then when you start having more commercial success and the venues get bigger, you start to feel more of an obligation to at least be good value for money.
“But at the same time, things are still very far away from being a professional rock band, you know? There’s not many bands who approach it the way that we do.”
The Cribs play the Rosemount Hotel on Tuesday, October 29, with support from The Love Junkies.
Get your tickets here.