Crystal Stilts @ Stereo 18-08-09

August 28, 2009

CRYSTAL STILTS
Stereo, Glasgow, August 18 * * *

After a memorable display at the Captains Rest back in February, New Yorkers Crystal Stilts returned to Glasgow this evening and the more spacious surrounds of Stereo. But unlike their first appearance where a packed crowd threatened to swamp the stage, tonight the half-full basement venue lacked the intensity of atmosphere that contributed to make that night such a success.
Instead the elevated stage, intermittently poor sound and a far from enthusiastic crowd combined to lessen the impact of what could have been another potent display.
That said there was still much to savour musically during their somewhat insular performance. Played at breakneck speed, The Dazzle and Crystal Stilts were early highlights. The latter saw enigmatic singer Brad Hargett at the peak of his powers, delivering maudlin monotone vocals with deadpan aplomb.
As the set progressed there were moments when the droning nature of some songs, and Hargett’s love of reverb, threatened to blur where one track ended and another began but with The SinKing all the elements of the band’s psychedelic garage rock came together in some style.
Given the fleeting applause that came their way it may not have been the end of tour high they’d hoped for but with audience numbers swelling and the critics by-and-large on side, the follow-up to debut Alight of Night should be eagerly anticipated.

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