Monday, 25 November 2013

Crystal Fighters @ Concorde 2 | 21st November 13 | Review by James Lillywhite

Crystal Fighters are a band defined by their raw positive energy. Their music, a blend of synth-pop and alternative dance, shines with positivity and happiness and on record their tunes can bring a smile to the face of any listener. Both albums so far in their career, 2010’s Star of Love and this year’s Cave Rave, have been excellent listens, but it is live where Crystal Fighters truly come into their own. Energetic, talented and, most importantly, fun, the London based 6-piece are a band designed to be enjoyed in the live environment, and they did not disappoint at the Concorde 2. 

From the moment Crystal Fighters emerged to the sold out Brighton crowd the room went wild. Starting with ‘Follow’, the band played 90 minutes of their relentlessly happy dance pop. They are a band who seems to not only enjoy performing live, but thrive on it. Drum solos, crowd surfing and endless sequins are all on the cards tonight.

‘At Home’, ‘I Love London’, ‘Xtatic Truth’ and many other fan favourites are played to a raucous reception. In fact, the one moment they slowed down is for was Cave Rave’s sing-a-long ‘Bridge of Bones’, but by the time the song reached its crescendo the crowd were going as crazy as ever.

Frontman Sebastian Pringle leads the band emphatically. Wearing a gold sequined head scarf and aviators, Pringle never let the energy drop. Whether he was commanding the crowd at the microphone, or playing guitar in the audience, he dominated the stage. He is complemented perfectly by lead guitarist Graham Dickson. On first appearances he looks like he is playing in the wrong band. Contrasting the bright colours and vast sequins of the rest of the band, Dickson emerged shirtless in skinny black jeans. As soon as he started to play, however, it is clear that he belongs with the rest of Crystal Fighters. Running around the stage, jumping on speakers and pulling out all of the rock star poses in the book, Dickson’s clear passion and infectious enthusiasm make him another focal point in the band.

Crystal Fighters at the Concorde 2, the first show of their UK tour, were a true success. The bands raw energy, combined with their positive and catchy pop songs, came together to create an excellent live performance. The young Brighton crowd danced from the first to the last moment, and, when the lights went up for the final time, no one left disappointed. Dickson at one point, during a rare break in the set, spoke directly to the audience to remind us that “this is reality”. With this kind of reaction, and further shows sold out across the country too, it seems that it is Crystal Fighters themselves that should be reminded that this is not all a dream. They are a band on a seemingly unrelenting upwards trajectory and, if tonight’s show is anything to go by, it will take a hell of a lot to stop them.

Review by James Lillywhite

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