Tribes at Canadian Music Week: the new sound of cool Britannia – Concert review (CMW 2012)

March 25, 2012

Tribes at Lee's Palace - photo Brian Banks, Music Vice
The Gig: Tribes
Where: Lee’s Palace, Toronto, Canada
When: 22 March 2012
In One Word: Massive

Let’s rewind. ◄ Ten years ago back in Britain, I was fortunate to start out as a music journalist at a time when the scene was really becoming exciting again for the first time in a few years. Things seemed a bit dull at the turn of the millennium — Coldplay dominated the charts — but by 2001 and 2002 the sounds of the American breakthrough acts like The White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Strokes were finding their way onto radios, CD players and mini-disc players (remember those) across the UK. Meanwhile, some fantastic home-grown new bands like Franz Ferdinand, The Libertines and Razorlight (remember them??) were exploding onto the scene. This was an exciting time for the American and British indie scene, and it would reach it’s peak in 2003-2004 before eventually the whole Myspace generation came along, and the scene would become saturated as a million artists came onto the scene from the internet.

Fast-forward. ►► 2012 Myspace is dead. The intergod is, of course, bigger than ever but it’s also sleeker and more ogranised. There are more artists than ever but now bands are finding us in cooler, smarter ways, like Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Tumblr and Facebook. The scene is ever-changing but one thing remains the same: Only the best of the best, the cream of the crop, will reach the top. And every decade will need a few artists to come along and rise above the rest to lead the pack, set the standard and give us the songs to remember the good times by.

And pause.  ▌▌We need a new wave of British indie rock, a sound for our time… and it’s coming! In fact, it has already started. Tribes are among a leading pack new bands who are set to shape the new sound of British rock.

Tonight at Lee’s Palace this band from Camden gave a great showcase of their sound, with this their first gig in Canada. Pretty girls came and danced, while us lads supped our beers and nodded in appreciation. The band have character and a sort of British-American nostalgic indie hybrid thing going on with their sound. But most of all, they have hooks. The best compliment you can give any band is to leave a venue singing the songs that you just heard, and after this show I had a few first-heard Tribes lyrics in my head: “I wanna get drunk leave my brain outside, I wanna get drunk with people I don’t like,” from “Coming of Age” and “My girlfriend doesn’t love me, My haircut doesn’t suit me,” from “Girlfriend”.  These are lyrics destined to be sung by frontman Johnny Lloyd at music festivals. It was an assured and bright performance by Tribes at Lee’s Palace, but a future of bigger sounds and bigger stages definitely awaits. This band will be massive.

Now play. ► Tribes debut album Baby released in January in Britain and just came out in Canada this month. Consider this as your first purchase from the new sound of Cool Britannia.

© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice

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Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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