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London Calling’s playing and the kids are getting pretty restless. In their first couple of years bubbling under the radar Camden’s Tribes have created quite the fan base of loyal fans that hero-worship the ramshackle swagger of this four piece. The amble on and open with the luxurious ‘Whenever’ which has the crowd singing along instantly with the chorus catchier than any Guetta inflicted hook riddling the charts.

There is an air of affection towards Tribes, as they play album hits like ‘When My Day Comes’ or the phenomenal ‘Sappho’ they seem happy to playing to such adoring fans, which is somewhat of a rarity in an age where reluctant indie is so cool. They head lock one another and spray water on the drummer with a tomfoolery that The Vaccines and so many other try hards could never quite capture. The set is rapid with highlights including ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Corner of an English Field’ all songs which prove their debut LP is worth celebrating. It’s not musical genius and a lot of the songs sound strangely familiar which could be a result of the slightly generic melodies but I find it hard to believe Tribes are a band trying to be anything different.

Their sheer embracing of all that is big whether it is chorus, shirt or stage dive is quite endearing as well as extremely engaging to watch. As the show comes to a close, lead singer Johnny (who has been called to by various members of the crowd in a ‘I’m your mate’ kind of way) promises one more song and the crowd are treated to ‘Coming of Age’ which is another catchy sleazy pop-rock anthem from Tribes. You can’t expect anything more, and nobody really does. They are a band that sings about growing up, trying to be cool and staying out late. Their best song, ‘We Were Children’ demonstrates this blissful innocence the best.

The gig ends and everyone is happier for the experience. Whilst most of that happiness is from a gig that was rapid, buzzing and energetic, it would appear a lot of it is happiness for four boys who played a Clash song then came on and played some solid rock ‘n’ roll numbers. The kids are going to be alright after all.

Words: Duncan Harrison
Photo: Laura Palmer