[Review] Tribes @ The Ruby Lounge, Manchester (31/10/11)

After hearing a lot of praise for these boys regarding their live sets and sadly missing them at Leeds festival due to a clash or intoxication, take your pick of which, I finally got my chance to witness the four piece known as Tribes show their chops. Rocking up to the intimate venue of the Ruby Lounge dressed like a weird ass skeletal priest (it was Halloween after all) I was pleasantly surprised by the bands openers Whales in Cabinets. Rocking a rather raw sound that in places did remind me of early some early Foo Fighters, yeah I said it. I'll be keeping an eye open for them in the near future.

For now though my eyes were set for Tribes, the real reason I'd ventured out this evening four young gents by the name of Johnny Lloyd, Dan White, Miguel Demelo and Jim Cratchley. The lads from Camden have created more than a name for themselves over the past year and performed their first headline tour culminating in a homecoming show in their hometown of Camden's legendary Dingwalls. To say I was a little excited for this one would be an understatement. After listening to their two EP's We Were Children and When My Day Comes I thought I knew what to expect from the setlist. I was wrong and the 40+ minutes that followed was a whirlwind of harmonious guitar goodness. 

Opening up with "Whenever" a track with an impeccably catchy chorus they started at a fast pace and showed me and the room that they meant business. Playing the infectious "Girlfriend" right before their single from earlier in the year "Sappho", they managed to then whip the crowd into a bit of a drunken frenzy as the venue sang back their radio played track. I couldn't help but think to myself "they're only 3 tracks in, what's next?!". Thirty seconds later I found out, the crowd was about to be treated to some new tracks as Johnny Lloyd took to the mic to tell us that this was a new one taken from the bands full length debut, Baby, set for release in early 2012. Three minutes pass and in that time the band have just played a track titled "Himalaya" and I'm telling you first hand, it was good, really good. A soaring harmony laden chorus paired up with a nice, yet subtle guitar solo mid way through the song. A track that I definitely foresee having crowds the country over singing along to on their next tour or more likely, over the 2012 festival season.  

Next up the acoustic guitar was out for the We Were Children track, "Coming of Age" and as the lyrics of "I wanna get drunk and leave my brain outside". I'm glad to be (mostly) sober and have my brain in tact, for the band on stage does not give away the fact that they have not yet released a long player, or the fact they've barely been in the consciousness of many for less than a year. The band play together like a well oiled unit, they're tighter than many bigger bands I've seen and to say they could fill venues twice this size would be an understatement. 

Finishing up the set with "We Were Children" the four young gents from Camden seem humbled by the crowds receptiveness and the reception they've received up north. I left the show with a feeling of relief. Often when you hear all these great things about a band and their live show you can build your expectations up and up until the final expectations you have for a band you've never even seen can never be met. This was not one of those occasions. However high I would have set my invisible goal posts for this band I have a feeling they would have hit it with their eyes closed. Their on stage chemistry and friendships shined through and they were super, super tight musically. They were a unit, gunning down the crowd with track after track of pure gold, old and new. I was thoroughly impressed and will most definitely be checking these guys out live again. I suggest you do the same too and sooner rather than later. I see big things happening for Tribes in 2012 with the release of their full length debut. Watch this space.