Why Play Encores?

Posted in Music
By Sam Bathe on 5 Nov 2007

I love live music, there’s nothing better. Sure, studio albums sound great, but they’re often a little too perfect. Music is as much about the imperfections and individual styles of different bands as their breathtaking talent. The Cribs have both. Finally claiming stardom with wonder-album ‘Women’s Needs, Men’s Needs, Whatever’, a hit-or-miss riff on ‘Be Safe’ made the final cut as lead guitarist Gary Jarman bemoans “it wasn’t my best one, but who cares”.

They are a refreshing breakaway talent in the largely pompous indie scene, and what’s more, they’re fantastic live. Recently impressing on their sold out tour, I caught the brothers from Wakefield at Forum in London, and it brought to mind a similarly pretentious problem with today’s music.

Mounting the stage at 9.30pm and finishing some time after 11pm, the band left to rapturous applause and even the odd ballroom dance, but alas no encore. No encore, because they’d just played over an hour and a half straight. The Cribs filled their allotted stage time with non-stop music, no need for walking off stage for 10 minutes only to stand with their ear to wall to listen for applause.

Why do all other bands feel the need? I go to gigs for music, not an empty stage. The fact that everyone in the audience bought a ticket and bothered to show up should be all the ego flattering a band could need. Take a leaf out of The Cribs’ book, they’re funnier than most too.

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