Wakefield indie-punk three-piece The Cribs headlined Derbyshire’s Y Not Festival three years ago and will be returning to perform this summer. Drummer Ross Jarman tells Jamie Barlow why their previous show was so special and why he plans to pack his toothbrush in preparation for the forthcoming event.
Since forming in 2002, The Cribs – who were established by twin brothers Ryan and Gary Jarman, later joined by younger sibling Ross – have released six studio albums, garnered several top 40 hits and appeared at many notable UK and international festivals throughout their career – including T in the Park, Isle of Wight Festival and Glastonbury.
The band have amassed a hefty fan-base over the years, releasing some of the most glorious indie tunes of the mid-late 2000s – ‘Men’s Needs’, ‘Mirror Kissers’ and ‘Hey Scenesters!’ to name but three – which are ready-made for outdoor, festival settings.
They were even briefly accompanied by former Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr – he himself an admirer of the West Yorkshire collective – who joined the band for a three-year stint between 2008 and 2011, before he went solo.
But for Ross, it is his band’s performance at the modest Y Not, a medium-sized burgeoning festival in the Derbyshire countryside, which remains one of their best – The Cribs headed the bill in 2013, along with glam-rock outfit The Darkness and post-punk revival group, The Horrors.
The morning after The Cribs’ crowning Saturday evening slot, Ross tweeted: ‘I could try to explain how amazing Y Not Festival was last night, but I just can’t. One of the best Cribs shows ever.’
And now he says the show was so special because it felt like a Cribs headline show – rather than a festival involving copious other bands.
He adds: “Sometimes when we play festivals, it feels like we are playing to a mix of people, some who have come to see us and others who don’t really know us but, on some occasions, it just feels like a big outdoor headline show.
“I remember on stage just feeling really comfortable playing because it sounded great and the crowd were so receptive. It felt more like a home-town show.
“Y Not is a great festival to play because there is a good vibe among people. Everyone seems happy which I think is probably due to the fact that it’s a great size for a festival.
“Some of the larger festivals can sometimes feel a little oversubscribed, and camping/getting around can be exhausting.”
And Ross enjoyed his time at the festival so much, he stayed to hang out in one of its campsites with some friends and ended up impromptu staying the night.
He says: “After we had played, there wasn’t much going on around the actual festival and that’s when I realised: ‘oh yeah, we were the headline act’. I woke up the next morning hungover, covered in dew with no ride home and no toothbrush.
“In recent years I’ve been really enjoying playing festivals. For a long time I never enjoyed them, but back in 2011 I felt that, as a band, we are good at it.
“As a punk band, it was just hard to adjust to the fact that sometimes you’ve got to play mid-afternoon in broad daylight, and it took us 10 years to figure it out.”
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Madness and Editors have been drafted in to top a star-studded line-up poster this summer but, whilst The Cribs will not be headlining this time around, Ross says the band will play a bunch of new songs and he will come better prepared this year.
He adds: “I’ll pack my tooth brush this time, just in case. Usually we just see how we feel but I’m pretty sure that if we see something on the bill that we like, we will stick around for it. “We met Noel a couple of years ago at a festival in Ireland and he seemed like a nice guy.”
Photo credit: Ross Silcocks