Crystal Castles play ‘surreal’ Shockwaves NME Big Gig 2009

Electro duo also pay tribute to The Cure

Crystal Castles have played a rowdy and eventful Shockwaves NME Awards Big Gig 2009 slot tonight (February 26).

Taking the stage after White Lies, frontwoman Alice Glass held her head in her hands while the band launched into their set.

The singer – who was chewing gum and wearing a pencil skirt and black pullover – battled microphone problems throughout the set, although she did not seem too concerned as she screamed her vocals and danced manically around the London O2 Arena stage.

‘Courtship Dating’ saw the singer pick up one of the huge stage strobe lights and swing it around, in between kneeling on the floor and singing her vocals.

Augmented by drummer Chris Chartrand, the band played a six-song set which saw Glass throwing herself across Chardrand‘s drumkit during ‘Crimewave’, while he continued to play around her body.

She then got up and flung herself around the stage, much to the audience’s delight. The song ended in a barrage of feedback, before morphing into a version of ‘Alice Practice’.

Throughout the band’s set, keyboard player Ethan Kath stayed rooted in the background with his hood up, occasionally singing backing vocals and talking to Glass between songs.

Crystal Castles played:



‘Courtship Dating’


‘Alice Practise’

‘Yes No’

Speaking to NME.COM after the set, Kath said he was stunned to see some die-hard Crystal Castles fans at the front of the audience barriers.

“We thank those people down at the front for showing up and singing along – helping us along,” he said. “It was very, very strange experience. You know, we’re a band that aimed to play basement parties. So to put that basement party band on a stage in front of 18,000 Cure fans was a strange and surreal experience.”

Kath also paid tribute to this year’s Big Gig headliners The Cure, who he said he’d be sticking around to watch.

“It was an honour to be able to play with The Cure,” he explained. “They’re definitely an inspiration. They’ve been great for so long – they never stopped being great. Their longevity is truly inspiring. The amount of quality music they’ve given the world is awe-inspiring. I don’t think anyone in the world can say anything bad about The Cure.”

For complete coverage from this year’s Shockwaves NME Awards, including news, photo galleries, video interviews and live blogs straight from the ceremony at the O2 Academy Brixton, head to our awards index at NME.COM/awards now.

There will also be a highlights show on Channel 4 on Friday (February 27) at 7.30pm (GMT) and on Saturday (28) at 10.55am. NME TV will also have highlights andinterviews from the awards, head to NME.COM/nmetv for the full schedule.

Meanwhile, get this week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands now – for an exclusive covers CD featuring this year’s Godlike Geniuses, The Cure. The awards review issue itself will be on the shelves from next Wednesday (March 4), boasting exclusive interviews, photos and more.

Plus NME Radio is broadcasting highlights of this year’s awards – tune in via Sky Channel 0184, Virgin Media 975, Freesat 727 or NME.COM/radio.