I bought these Tribes tickets months ago in a state of dissertation-despair; a treat to look forward to back in my second home of West London. I hadn’t heard a great deal on them in December of last year and knew only that they were a Camden based band that was a hot mix of The Libertines and The Pixies. Good enough for me.
It did not start well, my camera was taken off me (I wanted purely euphoric crowd shots for the website) and we could not see a fucking thing. That always is the case for me being a certified 5 footer, but Shepherds Bush Empire is particularly bad for giving the whole audience a view. Its no Brixton Academy. Anyway, the place was rammed with coked up teenagers to finger-tapping pensioners, which always makes a good crowd.
They had all kindsa knickers thrown on stage and coaxed the immediate hardcore front crowd into a festival inspired shoulder fuck. Cue great camera shots… oh, wait. They really did cajole us into grooving along though, like a drowsy sea of nodding hipster dogs. Merch was minimal yet screamed ‘TRIBES! I LIKE TRIBES! YES ME!’ which is probably why, even at £18 a t-shirt, they sold out.
I enjoyed the gig, the crowd was just as watchable as the band and my pint calmed me down after the camera fiasco. Set list was just under an hour long and reached a frenetic climax at their possibly most famous single to date, We Were Children. The highlight though was everyone shouting along to the anthemic ‘Sappho’, dropping every guard ad social norm to scream along in indie delight thinking they could strut out of there ten foot taller.
This track in particular, Sappho, got everyone chanting and feeling down right in(die) love.
The more I listen to their album, Baby, the more I slip into an Indie-coma, which is rather enjoyable. If you have a Strokes-shaped hole in your heart then these boys won’t fill it but may well be able to occupy it for quite some time.