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Music Review: Crystal Fighters @ O2

This Evol night at the O2 has an interesting mix of bands. Last week I missed out on Hot Club de Paris because I had an exam to study for, so Crystal Fighters is technically the 4th of 10.

Crystal Fighters are a hybrid electronic act with a distinctive male vocalist singing across audacious beat & tempo changes. The set started around 9.40 after some reasonable resident stuff, and kicked the night into high gear with some loud, complex mixing that sounded really fresh. The singer then acted almost as our guide or interpreter to what we were hearing, as we experienced a selection of tracks each themed with individual emotions. Comparisons with Pendulum and Sleigh Bells are reasonable, but these guys have a much cleaner sound which makes them unique.

“It was dead good! I like the whole electric thing” said one fan who had come from as far afield as Southport to hear them play.

Finally it’s worth mentioning that the crowd was a little sparse which is a shame for such a talented group. Perhaps the sort of event being organised by Defnet Media for next April will go some way to bringing a buzz to the local scene.



Music Review: Eliza Doolittle @ Masque

Took a break out of the Evol series last Monday to see Eliza Doolittle, who’s obviously a bit more mainstream than some of the other acts I’ve been to recently.

Her medium length set was delivered to a reasonable sized crowd who really got behind her. From the start her strong voice and well produced sound made an impression, whilst her band seemed to enjoy their role in supporting her.

Highlights of the night included her hits thus far (one of which she’s apparently set to re-release), a brilliant cover of Cee-Lo’s ‘Fuck You’ (aka Forget You for the radio audience) and the encore Medicine Man, which is surely set to be a hit. The set was a little short – as she herself said she only has one album of material to work with – but that didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the evening.


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Music Review: Sound of Guns + Little Comets

I came to this gig having not heard Sound of Guns before but friends suggested they might be decent.

It was a fairly late start – Little Comets came on at 9 and played a surprisingly minimalistic sounding set, very little use of instruments at all to be honest. Their instantly forgettable indie drawl was a taste of what was to come, because Sound of Guns also failed to make an impression on me with regards to their music.

That’s not to say they don’t have a presence. They have floppy hair, an energetic stage performance and a decent vocalist. In fact I think I noticed that their singer doesn’t play anything – quite unusual in all male bands these days.

But what they have in style they lack in substance – they failed to hold my interest even into the second song, and I wonder if this is due in part to a lack of ambition with the guitar sound. It’s a shame because I wanted to like this band. I’m slightly embarrassed to say I didn’t stay for the encore.


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Music Review: Everything Everything

First of the O2 Academy ‘Golden Ticket’ gigs (thanks again to GetIntoThis) was Everything Everything, a 4 piece band who are receiving quite a bit of attention at the moment (they’re on Jules Holland tonight if you’re stopping in).

The venue pretty much sold out, with both casual patrons & fanbois alike prepared to come out on a fairly dreary evening weather-wise. Shame for everyone then that EE got off to a slow start, with a track interesting for its guitar riffs but light on substance or vocals.

They then stumbled along for about 30 more agonizing minutes of forgettable emo warbling, a cross between Radiohead and any generic 80s mods you’d like to dredge up.  The expressions on each of the band members faces (probably faked in order to make it seem like what they do is artistic, rather than, erm, playing guitar) made me wonder if they were all taking the same constipated dump – sometimes pain, sometimes concentration, and finally elation & relief, but always coordinated.  The songs themselves were over-long, really quite hard work to listen to, and a little nihilistic, sometimes trailing in and out mid…

That said, something magical happened about 40 minutes in, when we were treated to a final 3 tracks plus an encore of much higher quality than what had gone before.  The wishy-washy fragile flower look gave way to something more rocky, with 3 vocals rather than 1, and an injection of fun into the proceedings.  By the time they left the stage, the lead singer’s mumbled apology for it being the first date in their tour no longer seemed necessary.

Everything Everything clearly have some ardent fans who seem frankly much more into the songs than the band deserve (always makes me laugh when I see that sort of person, they clearly need to go to some better gigs and get a sense of perspective!).  They also have some good tracks, so I’d expect their TV appearance this evening to go down pretty well, but they really need to improve their consistency & self belief if they want the likes of me to take them seriously.


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What do you get when you guzzle down sweets?

Well actually it appears that you get a golden ticket to see 10 gigs at the O2 academy.  I entered a competition on the GetIntoThis website and won so have now got more gigs to go to than I really have time for, but I guess I might as well try!

Will do a quick review of each gig and link back here later.