Gig Review... Tribes @ Bush Hall, London, 9th October 2013

Set in the centre of Shepherd's Bush in a small, yet extravagant, venue; Durex put on their final gig in the Intimate Sessions series with the headliner for the night being Tribes. To complete the line up, they added New City Kings and an XFM DJ to the bill and it created the formula for a pretty good night. With this being an allocated ticket kind of show, it resulted in the audience being full of a range of die-hard fans to people who did not know one song aka me.

New City Kings proved to be an interesting first act. Clearly new to supporting artists with a following like Tribes, it was difficult to feel a real connection with the band. The bassist, evidently enjoying the occasion and in his own little world, is what kept the set alive and running on a natural feel. Showcasing some real skill, all 4 members are proving why they are becoming increasingly popular on the music horizon through an absurd amount of top drumming solos and some experimental moments between the guitarists and the sounds they could produce. Although the front man is still not a front man that can lead them in to something huge, he did show signs that it's possible and hopefully through experience, he can get that to the best performance possible. In saying this, it may just be that the tech guy needed to turn up the vocals just a bit more. The band showed signs of being extremely good and it's just a matter of time. Keep an eye on these guys.
Photo courtesy of
During the change over of the set up between New City Kings and Tribes, it was then that the audience and I realised this was going to be an acoustic set and that the band really were making this an intimate session. Being the bad music journalist that I am and not knowing a single song, this was an extremely exciting to see. I was about to get to know the band through a stripped back, raw set and having met them just hours before the set, I knew they were all going to make this a night to remember. For the dedicated fans it was just as exciting due to the fact it was a fresh experience for them and not like all the sets they had seen the band do in previous tours and festival appearances.

Tribes walked on stage and straight away there was an instant connection between the band and the 250 selected winners. It set a tone of a chilled, laid back evening where we got to hang with Tribes and get to know them on a one-to-one basis. Performing songs like Corner of an English Field, Bad Apple, Dancehall, Sappho and all the other hits; it was clear that the trio (the drummer wasn't there for the acoustic show) had real talent. It takes a lot of balls for a band of that size to really take everything away and become vulnerable performers who were about to prove whether they could actually sing, play and connect. Verdict is that they definitely can and I became a fan as the set progressed. Looking around the lightly lit venue, it was easy to see just why the hype had grown around them over the past however many years.

Fans chanted lyrics back and forth turning the night in to one massive sing a long session and realising that we're caught in a moment that was going down in the band's history. There was a sense of it being a real special occasion for everyone invited and nothing was going to ruin it. Guitars broke in the middle of songs, it was a first acoustic performance for one and an nerve-wrecking experience for the lead singer but with supporters comforting him by shouting “don't be nervous, we love you,” across the room, he quickly settled in and appreciated every second. There was no way that, with a set list full of anthems, anybody in the room could deny that they are ready to support a band on a stadium tour at some point.

They appeared to be on top form last night and it was another gig that has really changed mind on how I view music and the bands. Having based my opinion on this band through one song around 2 years ago, I regret not giving them and many other bands a chance. Tribes proved that bands' talent can shine through even more when doing an acoustic set and it gives the opportunity for them to reflect on their career and the chaos that has occurred in the past few years. More than impressed by the band, I'm ready to admit I'm a fan. ing this, it may just be that the tech guy needed to turn up the vocals just a bit more. The band showed signs of being extremely good and it's just a matter of time. Keep an eye on these guys.

Follow / [FACEBOOK]