Jul 12 2011 by Denis Brown, Perthshire Advertiser Tuesday
PRE-GIG chants of “Here we go, here we go” was as close as it got to a singalong during Canadian electro duo Crystal Castles’ set.
The previous band onstage at the King Tut's tent, indie rockers Ocean Colour Scene, had drawn a capacity 15,000 crowd, with most fans singing their hearts out.
It was a radically different scene when Toronto-based producer Ethan Kath and frenetic vocalist Alice Glass delivered an ear-pounding, chaotic and at times mesmerising performance.
Prior to their appearance, New Order’s big hit Blue Monday received an airing, but the ‘80s electro classic is light years behind the Castles’ often impenetrable cacophony.
Definitely not music to the ears of your average OCS fan, Glass’s intentionally distorted vocals are essentially shrieks and screams.
Surrounded by keyboards and assorted gadgetry, multi-instrumentalist Kath, whose bearded face was just visible beneath a pulled-up hoody, set the tone for the set with an opening solo.
As the knob-twiddler’s beats reached ear-bleed level and with strobe lights flashing manically, Glass emerged from a haze of smoke, prompting an almost audible roar from fans.
The stylish indie siren, clad in ubiquitous black – Doc Marten boots, skirt, midriff-exposing cropped t-shirt and mascara-caked eyes – was on typically energetic form.
About halfway though the 50-minute set, Glass (22) almost took an unintentional dive when climbing atop her percussionist’s drum kit and looking wobbly, proceeded to punch the air.
She later took another dive – right into the crowd where she surfed on top of outstretched hands for several minutes, somehow still managing to sing.
Punters danced en masse for the entire set, with standouts included mind-melting versions of Crimewave and Black Panther, as well as the finale, Not in Love.
The duo’s final mainly instrumental track left Glass free for some more crowd surfing.
Security personnel stood by anxiously until Glass finally emerged unscathed before casually sauntering offstage clutching a bottle of bourbon.
It was a very rock ‘n’ roll ending to a show that was a million miles from your traditional rock gig.