Wednesday, 8 October 2014

RIP Crystal Castles

Just because we don't feel flesh, doesn't mean we don't fear death...

Crystal Castles have announced they are splitting. Here are my favourite personal memories of listening to one of my favourite bands.

Crystal Castles I
A barrage of screams and screeches, I'd never heard anything like it (and I haven't heard anything as raw since, either. I haven't.) I loved every second. Most people when they are describing hearing one of their favourite albums say how it somehow emulates them, or understands them or the way they were feeling at a particular time.

This album basically came along at a time when I was feeling very, very shit and taught me how to say: "Fuck it, just go mental".

In 2009 I worked in House of Fraser for a posh clothing company to supplement my meagre student loan. The hours were long and the customers were terrifically rude and I hated every second of it. Crystal Castles came to play in Leeds (at the Favisham, of all places) so I booked it off.

I have never been more drunk or had more fun or been in more recovery positions.

There is something about Alice Glass that makes me feel like losing control of yourself is somehow glamorous. I'm sure that's an unhealthy outlook, but occasionally, it's necessary to let loose. I drank straight vodka all night, ruined my brand new monochrome Kurt Geiger brogues, held Alice up as she crowd-surfed and then as far as the photos tell me I spent the remainder of the night laid out on the grass, occasionally being pinched to make sure I was still breathing.

This was followed by the second worst hangover I've ever had.

Haircuts & T-Shirts
I'm not often swayed by famous people into buying into a certain look. however as much as I admired Alice Glass (and still do, to an extent), it didn't occur to me until much later that I somehow acquired her haircut, eyeliner, Terminator t-shirts and stretchy skirt-opaque tights sense of style. It happened organically. I (think) I like that stuff anyway. I guess I just *became* her. She must be my spirit animal.

More T-Shirts
The "Bruised Madonna" t-shirt was my favourite shirt for along time and after I managed to buy one (special limited edition re-print from their MySpace page) and it finally arrived from Canada, I cut the neckline out and I wore it non-stop.

That is until one night myself and a nameless accomplice discovered Savannah cider and danced until 4am.

I awoke the next morning to discover to my dismay that I no longer owned my prized Madonna t-shirt.

Nobody knows where that t-shirt went. Certainly not I, nor my friend who had spent the rest of the night throwing up into my bin. Perhaps the staff of Hi-Fi have it in a frame somewhere behind the bar. I hope so.

Crystal Castles might sound like a bad influence on me, but the truth is, I had needed that outlet. They just gave it to me. It was a harder-edged version of the gospel of Andrew WK and it appealed simply because there was less "being awesome" and more "getting fucked up".

Bruises meant a good night out, hangovers were compulsory, vodka was straight, always straight. In a weird way, I miss those days. They were fantastic, blurred, whirlwind days that can and never will never be replicated.

Goodbye. I hope Alice's solo projects don't embarrass us all by trying to be honest or earnest or anything similarly ridiculous.
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