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Crystal Fighters// East Village Arts Club/ 28.11.13

The London based pop group, Crystal Fighters, returned to Liverpool last week to bring a pinch of summer back to these long winter evenings. On arrival, the sold out East Village Arts Club was packed with an overwhelming sea of anxious fans awaiting the Spanish inspired group to storm the stage. The band enter wearing fabulous carnival-styled outfits you could only get away with at a festival, a vibe that encapsulates the night. Lead-singer Pringle takes this outlandish style to a new level; arriving with a scarf on his head, insisting on wearing it throughout the first song and only afterwards revealing the quirky top-knot and shades worn inside.

‘I feel Liverpool Man,’ shouts the guitarist Dickson at the end and it is true to say Liverpool certainly felt them. The energy and passion that oozed from the band throughout the night was lapped up by the crowd, who in turn showed their appreciation by not once pausing for a breather, instead dancing, jumping and clapping to the exotic beat of the music. The txalaparta (think giant xylophone), a traditional Basque instrument, was particularly exciting to watch on stage, taking not one, but two members to create a sort of Latin American, samba style sound, perfect for everyone to get their groove on to.

Summer smash hit ‘You & I’ and ‘Love Is All I Got’ get such a huge response from the crowd you could barely hear the lead singer over the crowd belting out the lyrics. With each song the band demonstrated their versatility with sounds of folk, electro, dubstep and Spanish pop, firmly establishing their musical talents. For such a large band and busy stage, it was great to see the spotlight passed on to each member of the band during the show, giving them their opportunity to shine, Andrea Marongiu’s funky drum solo being a standout moment.

 By the end of the performance, the venue is as hot as the band was on stage, with everyone reluctant to leave. Pringle says it was ‘great to play pop music in the home of pop music,’ leaving Liverpool feeling valued. After seeing Crystal Fighters live, it becomes clear why they called their album ‘Cave Rave’: they certainly know how to throw a good party. 

/Lorna Poultney 

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