Crystal Castles – Leeds Festival 2012 review


Say one thing about Crystal Castles – say they’re not boring. After a shaky start (literally; the intermittent, staggering quality of Alice Glass’ vocal contribution leaves much to be desired) the set picks up with the melodic introduction of ‘Baptism’.

Despite the occasional burst of inspiring trance, it is clear that the electronica duo are not capable of presenting us with their ‘polished’ studio sound;  early on, it seems as if fans will retire back to their tents rather than brave the drizzle for discordant nonsense.

However, Glass’ penchant for chaotic stage antics is what keeps onlookers interested. Standing on fans during first single ‘Alice Practice’, continuously swigging from a near-empty bottle of Jack Daniels, it is apparent that if she wasn’t a part of the act she would swiftly have been thrown out.

After numerous incidents involving sprawling in mud and bark and creating a makeshift tent from her own coat draped across the mic stand, Glass’ vocals slowly gain clarity and melody, particularly during the downbeat ‘Celestica’.

As a result of these shenanigans, it is irritating when the experimental dance outfit quit the stage fifteen minutes early, with no prior warning. Perhaps producer Ethan Kath and his deranged, wiry accomplice tired too early, perhaps they realised that Glass’ larking was one of the few elements providing entertainment; it’s hard to say.

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