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Crystal Stilts - Green Door Store, Brighton, 23/11/2014

  by Dastardly

published: 3 / 4 / 2014

Crystal Stilts - Green Door Store, Brighton, 23/11/2014


At the Green Door Store in Brighton, Dastardly watches Brooklyn-based post punks Crystal Stilts play an effortlessly enthralling show

You’ve just been to a gig. You come out and go to your car (er...if you’ve got a car that is). On the windscreen is a parking ticket. Do you a) swear repeatedly as you snatch the plastic covering out from under the windscreen wiper or b) carefully lift up the wiper blade, remove the parking ticket and place into your pocket while thinking to yourself “Oh well, I must pay more attention to the surrounding signage”? If it’s ‘b)’ then it’s quite likely you’ve just been to see NYC’s Crystal Stilts dispense 40 or so minutes of sublime garage surf pop, and it will take a lot more than a parking ticket to winch you back down. Earlier that evening Crystal Stilts shuffled onto the stage at Brighton’s Green Door Store silhouetted against a backdrop of bright orange and yellow light. There’s always been something effortless about this Brooklyn based four-piece and tonight, midway through a tour across ‘Yurp’ (© George W. Bush, 2001), they are as unphased as ever. A broken string early on raises the odd eyebrow but nothing more. Thankfully they have amiable keyboard player Kyle on hand to plug the gap and display an impressive knowledge of Brighton via a bored afternoon read through of the town’s Wikipedia page. With the set list re-arranged drummer Keegan slams into 'Sycamore Tree' from second album ‘In Love With Oblivion’. It’s a heady insistent tune not unlike the Doors' ‘Run With Me’, and by the end of it the inhabitants of the Green Door Store are held firmly in the band’s grasp. Guitarist JB is on fine form tonight. Rather than relying just on pedals for sounds he wrenches out those scratchy 60's riffs with a blurred right hand doing most of the work. ‘Future Folklore’ from the new album outvelvets the Velvets and the other new songs shine just as bright - title track ‘Nature Noir’ is almost baroque in its twists and turns, and ‘Star Crawl’ proves they can do hypnotizing at any speed. Singer Brad meanwhile proves that sometimes doing pretty much nothing can look iconic. I guess it depends if you are inherently iconic. Back catalogue classics ‘Sugar Baby’ and ‘Shake the Shackles’ have everyone grooving. Then in amongst it all we get a surprise cover as the Stranglers ‘Duchess’ is given a spirited rendition reminding us that the Meninblack were similarly partial to a bit of 60's garage. Tonight Crystal Stilts prove that they’re a band that’s still growing. Armed with the dark library intent of Interpol and the slick bubblegum playground pop nouse of the Stone Roses, they remain an intriguing prospect for global superstardom... All they need now is for the rest of us to catch up.

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Crystal Stilts - Green Door Store, Brighton, 23/11/2014

Crystal Stilts - Green Door Store, Brighton, 23/11/2014

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Nature Noir (2013)
Slowed-down but compelling third album from acclaimed Brooklyn-based post-punk band, Crystal Stilts
Radiant Door EP (2011)
Shake the Shackles (2011)
Departure (2009)

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