Crystal Fighters // Albert Hall, Manchester // 17.11.16
Seeing Crystal Fighters live is always guaranteed to be an event filled with an explosion of colour, and their gig in Manchester was no exception. True to their musical style and the vibe that they create, their show made use of a stage decorated with fake flowers and inflatable beach balls, which offered an element of fun alongside their exceptional performance and a mesmerising backdrop to serve as a constant reminder of the places they travelled to while writing their new album.
Opening with the well-known classic, “Follow”, which afforded the crowd a chance to warm up and prepare for the dancing ahead, they then moved into “Yellow Sun”, a cheerfully tropical (applicable to all of new album Everything is My Family) track which, in my opinion, deserves to be released as another single. From “Yellow Sun” they then moved into “LA Calling”, seamlessly blending their different albums while maintaining the audience’s excitement. With “In Your Arms”, however, the tempo dropped slightly, offering everyone a chance to catch their breath and prepare for “Love Is All I Got” and “All Night”. After this came “I Love London”, which always seems to divide listeners who either love or hate the deviation from Crystal Fighters’ folksier side. While I thoroughly enjoyed “I Love London”, and think that it really captures the rave aspect of their music, I thought that it was missing some of the messy atmosphere of the recorded version which came across better during their set at Bestival.
Eventually coming back to Everything is My Family, they moved swiftly through the singles “Ways I Can’t Tell”, “Lay Low” (dedicated to their late drummer Andrea Marongiu) and “Good Girls”. After this, they returned to their older works, slowing down with “Bridge of Bones” before picking the pace back up with highlights that included “Love Natural”, “You & I” and “Plage”. As per usual, Crystal Fighters managed to put on a show which combined hardcore dancing with an overwhelming and expansive love for the moment, once again bringing Spanish sunshine to a dreary English autumn.