Ten years is a long time in the music industry. Ten years is an even longer time to remain successful in the music industry, but that‘s exactly what Wichita Recordings have done. Wichita have become one of the most influential labels around, having a roster of artists including The Cribs, Bloc Party (and now Kele), Los Campesinos, First Aid Kit, Conor Oberst and Best Coast. In celebration of their tenth anniversary Wichita hosted four days of gigs at The Garage. On Monday 12th July it was Lissy Trullie, Those Dancing Days & Young Legionnaire, followed on Tuesday by First Aid Kit, Peggy Sue & Meg Baird. Wednesday was the night of the big guns, with The Cribs, Sky Larkin & Lovvers, culminating in Los Campesinos, Frankie And The Heartstrings & Johnny Foreigner on Thursday.
It‘s All Happening were lucky enough to attend the final two gigs of the week. The Cribs, performing without Johnny Marr, played their first two albums ‘The Cribs‘ and ‘New Fellas‘ back to back, for a proper hot and sweaty old-school gig. It felt like it was 2005. It felt like I was 18. It felt brilliant. The crowd were on form too, and when Gary Jarman stated in his broad Yorkshire accent ‘I‘m surprised no one has made it on to the stage yet‖, the 630 strong sell out crowd quite rightly took this as a challenge. Unsurprisingly, the security became rather busy. Lovvers had earlier ripped through an enjoyable set to open up the Wednesday night. They were closely followed by Sky Larkin who, playing several new songs from the record ‘Kaleide‘, seem to improve every time they perform.
Just 24 hours later It‘s All Happening were back at The Garage to see a lively Los Campesinos set in which they cracked out some tunes that are rarely played live anymore (‘International Tweecore Underground‘ and ‘In Medias Res’), along with the usual favourites (such as ‘You! Me! Dancing!‘ and ‘Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks‘). The seven piece are a fantastic live band and this performance reinforces that further. Los Campesinos were preceded by north east boys Frankie and The Heartstrings, who have been receiving rave reviews for their passionate performances, and Johnny Foreigner who opened the night with a energetic set that included being joined on stage by Gareth Los Campesinos for ‘Criminals‘.
Wichita have been inspirational, influential and incredible. All six bands over the two nights that we attended paid tribute to the label, and stated the impact Wichita had on their careers. Thank you Wichita – here‘s to another great ten years.
If you only own three albums from Wichita…
You will be missing out. But for now, start with these.
The Cribs: Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever
One of the best live bands you will ever see, and just as raw on record.
Los Campesinos: Hold On Now, Youngster…
Complex yet cerebal lyrics, knotted together with wonderfully spangly melodies. And it has You! Me! Dancing! on.
Best Coast: Crazy For You
Shamelessly simple yet wonderful sunny songs of love and longing