Crystal Fighters at Brixton Academy
A lively crowd filled Brixton Academy ready to party Thursday night away to this Anglo-Spanish sextet. Crystal Fighters formed after founder member Laure Stockley discovered an incomplete opera her grandfather had penned as he descended into his final months of insanity while she was clearing out his Basque country home. She became obsessed by these intriguing scrawls and the grand themes they tackled and the title of the opera gave the group its name and inspiration. Forming in 2007, the six-piece produce dance music that is played with traditional instruments.
As the exuberant band leapt onto the stage, they were all dressed in variations of white: lead singer/guitarist Sebastian Pringle wore a tasselled outfit that gave him the air of an Ibizan shaman. This was music for dancing to around a fire pit – or, indeed, at a cave rave, as they held in 2013 for their album of the same name.
Love was the theme of the night. Love for one another, for the earth, for everything. They kicked things off suitably with I Love London, and renditions of Love Is All I Got, All My Love and Love Natural continued the theme. The cartoon braggadocio of Boomin’ in Your Jeep and I Do This Everyday were particular crowd-pleasers in a set that brought cheers with each opening bar played.
The musicians were experts at whipping the audience up into a frenzy, with the charisma for genuine good vibe manufacturing and the percussively tribal almost hypnotic songs. The band members specialise in playing folk instruments and Gilbert Vierich and Graham Dickson paired up to play the txalaparta, a sort of xylophone. The concert was a joyride through various genres, from a smattering of rave rock with electric guitar and strobe lights, to more louche, carnival-like beats. It was impossible not to be drawn into Crystal Fighters’ energy and enthusiasm. An anthemic rendition of Champion Sound towards the end of the set could only be judged by the number of shoulder rides it engendered. The shoulder ride ratio declared the fans verdict as “epic”.
While the show may have benefited from slightly more variation in textures and feelings, and the voices on display were perhaps not of the highest calibre, the night wasn’t about that. There was one mission: to get the audience dancing like no one was watching, and that was accomplished.
Photos: Guifre de Peray
For further information and future events visit Crystal Fighters’s website here.
Watch the video for All My Love here: