The NME Awards Tour gets chaotic with Crystal Castles



In an era in which popstars cancel gigs complaining of sore throats and broken nails, music needs more people like Alice Glass.



The frontwoman of Canadian dance duo Crystal Castles wasn't going to let something as trivial as a broken ankle prevent her headlining the Shockwaves NME Tour on Saturday night - even if it did mean performing on crutches.

If Glass's movements were more restricted than usual, which isn't saying a lot for a woman who's famed for punching her fans, the music was a stampede. Filling their hour-long set with tracks from their two self-titled albums, Crystal Castles were as uncompromising as they were chaotic. These were less songs and more aural assaults, while Glass and bandmate Ethan Kath emanated about as much warmth as an iceberg.

However, beneath the icy surface lay beguiling melodies. Crimewave - all eerie synths and android vocals - and the thunderous Alice Practice prompted mass singalongs from the trendy young crowd. Elsewhere, Celestica had the kind of majestic chorus that made it a Radio 1 favourite.

Mostly, though, this was music at its most
experimental - and you'd be hard pushed to find a braver, more generous performance all year.

Special mention, too, for Magnetic Man, the three-headed dubstep monster who filled the venue with organ-rattling beats. If you're going to get tinnitus, get it to this.





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