Photographer: Chris Mathews

Having recently reviewed Tribes EP, We Were Children, it was time to witness a band in its natural state. Onstage, surrounded by instruments, fans, sweat and noise. Tribes have had a slowly gathering fandom for the last year or so, truly reaching fever pitch around the time of their Camden Crawl shows. Unfortunately, I remained a distant admirer, picking up on a track or two throughout those very months, plucked from the blogosphere. The EP is a definitive call to youthful, 90s arms and one more step in 90s revivalism that has begun to descend on 2011. Dingwalls played host to the boys, Camden being an almost too-obvious location in which the murky, messy foursome could play to their hearts content.

Tribes @ Dingwalls, London 09/06/11

Onstage, the group certainly contain a quiet kind of confidence, evident in the ease in which they take the heaving masses before them (with possibly a couple of celebrity faces I was reliably informed, although my blurry eyes remained solely on the sonic spectacle before me because I’m a reviewer gosh darnit!). The band creaked into life with a number of high tempo blares of 90s rock and roll, evoking a melodic sort of grunge that churns and burns from the depths of young, nubile hearts.

Tribes @ Dingwalls, London 09/06/11

‘Sappho’ is a lo-fi, delightful dirge whilst ‘Girlfriend’ roars through an escalating, exuberant crowd. The influences on display are blatant and bold, ripped from the throats of the bands that came before, from the Pixies to Pavement to Weezer. A somewhat young crowd certainly have either lived through or looked up to this relatively recent musical era, where anti-establishment meant loud, louder and loudest. A couple of softer touches, however, do little to calm the atmosphere. ‘Coming of Age’ and closer ‘We Were Children’ are subtly sly swipes of retro melancholy, aching out to the crowd who ache just as equally back.

Tribes @ Dingwalls, London 09/06/11

Tribes are amassing a small tribe of their own, if the view from the stage at Dingwalls was anything to go by. Hordes of young things (and a few old, not to stereotype) bulging and pushing throughout, instilled with this juvenile imagery that squeezes the heart, head and whole of us at times. We all ache for youth and we all ache to belong. Tribes bring both worlds clashing together via the medium of music. And wonderful music at that. Check out Tribes whilst their numbers are small and their crowds are manageable. Otherwise, you’ll get swept up by the growing masses and find yourself growing old before your time…

Tribes @ Dingwalls, London 09/06/11