Latitude Day 1: Crystal Castles, Sunrise Arena

Who’s that playing,” said one male member of the packed crowd at one point. “Crystal Castles,” said his friend. “But there’s nobody on the stage,” the first objected.

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Who’s that playing,” said one male member of the packed crowd at one point. “Crystal Castles,” said his friend. “But there’s nobody on the stage,” the first objected.



Crystal Castles are weird, squiggly, electronic noisemakers with sporadic vocals and you could easily mistake them for DJs if just wandering through — but don’t be dissauded, they are actually modern geniuses at making fantastic modern dancefloor fillers, despite perhaps being better known for remixing others’ records (Klaxons, Bloc Party) and also being remixed themselves (HEALTH). But tracks such as ‘Crimewave’ speak for themselves, especially in this tiny tent, tucked away in the woods.

It’s not as if she hasn’t already come in from the cold critically, but Yoko Ono received definitive affirmation when Alice Glass took to the Sunrise stage and hopped, bopped and screeched her idiosyncratic way through a set as one half of the Toronto duo. The pair’s music is indebted not only to Ono but to the whole sonic ethos of early-1980s New York post-punk, fed through a very modern, or at least modish, dancefloor filter.

In fact, Glass was present throughout, but so wired and unpredictable is her stage presence, never mind her singing style, that you could easily miss her in the blink of an eye. Younger fans waved glo-sticks thoughtfully provided them by their parents; stage-diving duly occurred, but no injuries were reported. But the overwhelming aftertaste was that the Canadian band simply get the old dance-punk staples right: hit them hard, and hit them mad. Twist, in other words – and SHOUT.

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