Last night, London’s current indie-rock power couple canoodled at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The Cribs front man Ryan Jarman cuddled chart-topping (in England) girlfriend Kate Nash, sipping pre-gig drinks. Cue culture clash: Nash is 20 and accustomed to U.K. booze laws. MHoW bouncers mistook her for an underage groupie, confiscating her drink and scoffing at her repeated cries of “But I’m with the band!” till she ran for cover backstage.
Her boyfriend and his bandmates, brothers Gary and Ross, fared better. They’re unselfconsciously hook-heavy and throw in more ooh-ooh-oohs than the Ronettes; their torrential set had the crowd physically reacting to every thrumming bass line, as Ryan lay on his side and spun like a pinwheel and later dove into the audience (taking his hapless sound tech with him). To close, they mellowed with the first-ever live performance of the haunting "Be Safe," with Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo on spoken-word vocals (a friend said he came because "he lives around the corner"). —Sarah Maslin Nir