Crystal Castles - Korova
Live Review

Crystal Castles – Korova, Liverpool

The Toronto pair known as Crystal Castles are as much for their remixes of Bloc Party, Klaxons, Goodbooks, Liars and The Whip as they are for their own music. Professing to sound like ‘H.I.V.’ and be influenced by murder and knives, this gritty twosome are not for the easily offended.

Tonight stopping off in Liverpool in a tour that includes dates in Barcelona, Tokyo, Australia, and the USA, we are treated to a typically topical and uber-cool gig in Korova. Crystal Castles (named after She Ra’s home in He Man, not the classic video game, as we are often reminded), take over the somewhat cramped stage and fill the small room with the sound of electronic bleeps and wurbles, and aggressive drum beats, broken up by alices’ screeching.

Multi-instrumentalist Ethan Fawn remains stationary behind his wall of equipment consisting of some keys and some laptops. With an original Atari 5200 sound chip inserted into the keyboard to really give it a genuinely gritty sound, the unique buzzquake of Crystal Castles is something of wonder and is not the most accessible music around, but this is the idea.

Opening with strangely titled ‘xxzxxczx me’ (excuse me), Crytsal Castles launch into a set that lasts only around 30 minutes. Maybe a surprise to see a short set from the headliners but we are given seven or eight of the best tracks they have to offer.

Alice Glass is the very picture of the enigmatic rockchild. Spurting attitude, she barely says a word during the gig to acknowledge the wild audience. They don’t care. What this crowd lacks in numbers they more than make for in enthusiasm, smattered with the iconic crystal castles tshirt bearing the face of Madonna with a beaten, swollen right eye, seen being sported by Kele Okereke of Bloc Party at this year’s Leeds Festival. Feverish dancing, the atmosphere created is electric.

Alice is the iconic image tonight in a big baggy Batman Tshirt, wasted eyeliner, knee length skirt and low rise Converse. She carrys a strobe, attacking the crowd with light, blinding everyone. Alice insists on what appears to be an attempted suicide on stage. Entwining herself in microphone cable from neck down and struggling free. A mesmerising character created in the mould of an undernourished, skeletal 60’s punkrocker.

As they build to the finale they drop Alice Practice, the leaked demo recording that has been their biggest tune to date before the climax of Airwave to finish.

You’ll have to wait until February to hear the album but there’s already loads on Myspace. New EP Crimewave Crystal Castles vs Health is out now and the band have a US tour planned with Health, so fans of CC should check them out also.

Crystal Castles are a band with as much stigma , attitude and personality as they have songs. A band seemingly for those only in the know. they have their own brand now. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing I don’t know but one thing learned is Crystal Castles certainly don’t give a shit

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