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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.


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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.