Live Review: Tribes

23 Apr

Concorde 2: Saturday, April 21

With every tinpot Britpop band from Dodgy to Shed Seven intent on milking the nostalgia cash cow, there’s clearly a demand among thirty-somethings to relive their teens, hollering indie disco anthems like it was 1995.

But don’t spend your hard-earned cash watching an ageing Rick Witter look an even bigger tool than he was the first time around, or waste an hour guessing how much royalty money the drummer from Dodgy spunked on pies; if you want to feel 16 again, go and see shaggy-haired, Camden-types Tribes.

At a sold out Concorde they bombarded young and old with a succession of addictive, stadium-sized anthems, most of which were shouted back at them by besotted, wide-eyed teenagers. 

It’d be easy to mock the kids; after all, Tribes’ sing-along indie and shabby Topman-chic is hardly novel, but deep down surely everyone wants to be a cynicism-free 18-year-old with a heart full of hope and belly full of cheap booze. And that’s exactly how Tribes make you feel.

From the glorious glam stomp of former single Sappho to the Clash-lite riffs of When My Day Comes, it’s impossible to not be sucked in by their endless enthusiasm.

It’s not all rabble-rousing euphorics, though, and couple of toned-down numbers show their song writing has a more than a dash of finesse.

Their main quality, however, is that they churn out tunes so infectious and radio-friendly you’d think they were ten-a-penny, not the holy grail for most bands.

Ok, so Tribes aren’t going to get a sideboard full of Ivor Novello awards, but they will show you a cracking time. As they sing on When My Day Comes, “Why should we worry about acting our age?” Why indeed – it’s much more fun their way.


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