Tribes - Electric Ballroom, London
There’s something inherently wrong about coming out of a gig pre-10pm yet, similarly, something that is entirely appealing to the oldie living inside all of us; given the porous state of the sold-out Electric Ballroom crowd, the early stage time for Tribes threw a few people last night as well. Not that the Camden indie rockers cared, or even noticed, given their frenetic, devout following crammed into the front quarter of the venue, complete with the prerequisite frequent beer fountains arcing towards the stage that just seems to fit their brand of rough-and-ready indie rock. That’s not meant to be detrimental towards their output; the 45-minute set is easily one of the most exciting we’ve heard all year from a new band, with the foursome proving equally adept at more contemplative, expansive rock efforts as they are so effectively brilliant at the chorus-driven big anthems.
It’s even more pleasing when we’re left wondering if they’ve started too quickly after the superb singles ‘Sappho’ and ‘When My Day Comes’ are dispatched one after the other, before their set even hits halfway. We needn’t have worried. The one-two of ‘Himalaya’ and ‘Coming Of Age’ calm the tempo, but are excellent in their own right; the former with its meaty bass walls and the latter’s acoustic setting proves an utterly delightful low-key treat and the quality level refuses to dip. For a band that exploded into our sight with the raucous ‘We Were Children’ (which provides a fittingly massive finale tonight), it’s remarkable to witness how accomplished and tight they sound live with none of the rough edges we wrongly expected, perhaps as a result of comparisons to the likes of The Libertines. Not that they don’t exude raw energy by the joule-load, it’s just that it’s completely channelled into providing a fast-paced and stylish set that even manages to make the people around us, previously insistent on chatting throughout, shut up and take notice. They have little other choice.
With their debut album Baby out early next year, there’s little doubt that Tribes will soon be the name on everyone’s lips given the recent false dawns for guitar music provided by The Drums in 2010 and The Vaccines this year. On the evidence of tonight, they have the material to craft a genuinely thrilling debut album which is backed up by a live delivery that is bound to win them fans wherever they go. We’re generally loathe to proclaim such a thing but considering everything Tribes have delivered to us in their short career so far, they could well be the next big thing.
WHEN MY DAY COMES
COMING OF AGE
DUMB IT DOWN
NOT SO PRETTY
WALKING IN THE STREET
WE WERE CHILDREN