Crystal Fighters

Crystal Fighters
Crystal Fighters

Crystal Fighters(2011)
Background information
Origin London, UK
Genres Alternative dance, Electronic, Folk, Indie
Years active 2007–present
Labels Zirkulo
Sebastian Pringle
Gilbert Vierich
Graham Dickson
Mimi Borelli
Laure Stockley
Andrea Marongiu

Crystal Fighters are a British electronic band with Spanish influences who formed in London, UK in 2007. Their debut album Star of Love was released on 4 October 2010.[1]



Formation and early years

‘Crystal Fighters' are Sebastian Pringle (lead vocals, guitar), Gilbert Vierich (electronics, guitars, txalaparta, percussion) and Graham Dickson (guitar/ txalaparta), with Laure Stockley and Mimi Borelli (vocals).

Pringle and Vierich were old friends, while Vierich and Dickson met through various parties. The three then began making music under various guises before being joined by Stockley and Borelli.[2] The band now play with a live drummer, Andrea Marongiu.[3][4]

The group took their name ‘Crystal Fighters’ from an unfinished opera which Stockley’s grandfather had penned during his final months of insanity. Stockley came across the manuscript while clearing out the reclusive old man’s remote home in the Basque countryside. She quickly became obsessed by the intriguing scrawls within it and shared it with the others. Captivated by its seemingly prophetic contents, the band took on the name and formed in an attempt to expand upon the wild and deranged spirit of the old man’s writings.[5]

Instruments and Style

The band play both electric and acoustic guitars, synths, drums, and incorporate traditional Basque instruments into their music. Many of their songs use a txalaparta, a wooden xylophone-like percussion instrument played by two people standing face-to-face. They also use the danbolin (a rope-tuned snare drum), and the txistu (a Basque pipe whistle).[6]

Crystal Fighters’ style is a fusion of genres – fast progressive dance music joined by the melodies and dances of traditional Basque folk, alongside synthesisers, bass-driven wonk-funk, with beats fuelled by early 80s Spanish punk and experimental electronica from bands such as Aviador Dro, Las Vulpes and Dulce Venganza.[7][8] Basque music informs much of their songwriting: the riff on ‘Champion Sound’ is lifted from the Basque folk piece ‘Sagar Dantza’ and ‘In The Summer’ draws upon music heard at the Carnival of Lantz in Navarroa.[9] Paul Lester, of The Guardian has described their style as "what would happen if you went back 100 years, dropped a load of recording equipment into a remote Basque village and left the villagers, steeped in folk music, to their own devices."[5]

Their unique style has caused NME to comment that "Crystal Fighters have stood out as one of the most interesting prospects by a mile – something genuinely new sounding."[10]

Kitsuné years

In 2008, popular music-website Palms Out Sounds picked up the track ‘I Love London’ and news of the band's unique sound began to spread.[11] This led to two single releases through record label Kitsuné in 2009.[12]

In 2009, the band also recorded and made a video for 'Robot Restroom' with Tom Neville and Henry Benett. Although, it was never released.[13]

They group were also chosen as Diesel U Music’s Spanish representatives, and launched MySpace Music in the UK, one of 2009’s most anticipated media events.[14]

Star of Love album

Star of Love is the name of the first album by Crystal Fighters. It was released to critical acclaim in the UK on 4 October 2010 via the band’s own label Zirkulo. In Europe, the album is licensed to PIAS. It will be released in Australia via Liberator Music.

The BBC called it an "assured, sporadically thrilling first shot"[1] while Artrocker said "this lot really are a rare talent that you’d be foolish to ignore."[15] Mojo Magazine gave the album 4 out of 5, stating "there’s a thrilling carnival atmosphere to Star of Love...unique and highly moreish".[citation needed] The Fly called it "a record as high in energy and delightfully messy as their now notorious live performances"[16]

The collection of songs explores the themes in singer Stockley's grandfather's writings. Themes include the unfathomable mystery of the universe, the turbulent journey towards being at peace with death, the triumph of love, and the omnipotence of the sun.[9] "Star Of Love" is actually a backronym for SOL, the Spanish word for "sun". Each song tells a story, both sonically and aurally, and each story has its cryptic connections with the dark and tormented world of the original opera.[17]


Initially the band's live shows took the format of a musical opera to convey the story of each song and bring about evocative reactions from their audiences through the vehicle of performance art. Now even with the live facets stripped down, their reputation as one of the UK’s most forward-thinking, carnage-inducing live acts is continuing to build and build.[18] The band’s dramatic and artful shows have become somewhat legendary with Mixmag proclaiming them to have "the single most exciting show in dance music."[14] Dazed & Confused has said "there is nothing more alive or energetic than Crystal Fighters".[19]

In the last two years, the band have played over 100 shows across 15 countries.[citation needed] 2010 saw the band play all the top festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival, V Festival, Leeds Festival, Creamfields, Lovebox, Secret Garden Party and Isle of Wight Festival, and at more intimate gigs including one in Manchester.

Worldwide, they played SXSW, StereoSonic (Australia), Eurosonic, C/O Pop (Germany), Creamfelds Spain, Lowlands (Holland), Hurricane Festival & Southside Festival (Germany), Suprette (Switzerland), Emmaboda (Sweden), Electric Picnic (Ireland) and Bergenfest.

The band supported Foals on their UK tour in November 2010[20] and headlined their own UK tour in October of that year.[21]

In 2011, the band will embark on a UK headline tour in October and Europe in November.[22]

TV & Film

Crystal Fighters performed ‘Champion Sound’ and ‘Xtatic Truth’ on Later With Jools Holland in October 2010.[23] Mimi is seen sitting on the floor during the performances but did not sing.

They will appear on Channel 4’s ‘Abbey Road Debuts', a new music programme from the producers of ‘Live from Abbey Road’. The series will begin in April 2011.[24]

Two songs from the Star Of Love album have featured in hit TV series Skins. 'Xtatic Truth' featured in Episode 7, Series 4 during the party scene[25] and 'With You' in episode 3 of series 5 when Mini sees Nick sleeping next to Liv. 'I Do This Everyday' was featured on the Skins advert in February 2011.[26]

The Delta Heavy remix of ‘I Love London’ was featured on the soundtrack to the film 'Harry Brown', starring Michael Caine.[27]

They were featured on a small documentary "4Play: Crystal Fighter", Which aired on Friday, 25 Feb 2011 on Channel 4.[28]

Their track "Plage" was used on the 2011 television commercials for both Matalan and Target


Studio albums

Album Title Album details Peak chart positions
Star of Love
  • Released: 4 Oct 2010[29]
  • Label: Zirkulo / PIAS
  • Formats: Vinyl, Download, CD


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2009 "Xtatic Truth" Star of Love
"I Love London"
2010 "In the Summer"
"Follow / Swallow" 70
2011 "At Home" 95 74
"Plage" 12


  • Master Shortie 'Dance Like A White Boy'
  • The Wombats 'Jump Into The Fog'
  • CSS 'Let's Reggae All Night'
  • Erik Hassle 'Don't Bring Flowers'
  • Magic Wands 'Black Magic'[30]
  • MIT 'Rauch'
  • Pony Pony Run Run 'Hey You'


  • Feast of Aurora
  • Pop Espanol (Rough Trade exclusive CD)
  • Que Vasco Eres
  • Online Mixtape
  • Radio Mix for Kitsuné (Broadcast on Le Mouv)
  • Kiss FM Minimix (Broadcast by Loose Cannons Kiss 100 FM)
  • Online Mixtape[31]


  1. ^ a b "Music - Review of Crystal Fighters - Star of Love". BBC. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  2. ^ "Crystal Fighters on Basque folk music, Kitsuné and being 'mental' on Spoonfed - Things to do in London". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  3. ^ "Crystal Fighters: Epic And Romantic | Interviews | DIY". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  4. ^ "Andrea Marongiu". Andrea Marongiu. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  5. ^ a b Paul Lester. "New band of the day – No 572: Crystal Fighters | Music |". Guardian. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  6. ^ "Crystal Fighters Take Over: Our Equipment | indie". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to Rough Trade Shops". 31 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  8. ^ "Featured article - /Crystal Fighters". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  9. ^ a b "Crystal Fighters aim for Star of Love on debut LP – FACT magazine: music and art". 22 July 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  10. ^ "Magic Wands - Black Magic (Crystal Fighters Remix) - Free MP3 - MP3s and Streams - NME.COM - The world's fastest music news service, music videos, interviews, photos and free stuff to win". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  11. ^ By Haldan • 31 January 2008 • Mp3 (31 January 2008). "Crystal Fighters | Palms Out Sounds". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  12. ^ "Crystal Fighters - Download Crystal Fighters Music on iTunes". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  13. ^ now to post a comment!. "Crystal Fighters vs. Tom Neville + Henry Bennett (Robot Restroom Remix Video)". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  14. ^ a b "Crystal Fighters Music". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  15. ^ "Crystal Fighters/ Star of Love | Album Reviews | Artrocker". 12 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  16. ^ "Album Review: Crystal Fighters / ‘Star Of Love’ (Zirkulo) / New Album Reviews / Music News from THE-FLY.CO.UK - The UK's most popular music magazine". The-Fly.Co.Uk. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  17. ^ "Welcome to Rough Trade Shops". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  18. ^ "For The Record | Crystal Fighters: Interview". 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  19. ^ Name (required) (23 October 2008). "Dazed And Confused – See The Full Article Here « Crystal Fighters". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  20. ^ "Foals Support Acts Announced - 14 Jul 2010 | Clash Music Latest Breaking Music News". 14 July 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  21. ^ "Crystal Fighters Confirm Single, Tour - 13 Aug 2010 | Clash Music Latest Breaking Music News". 13 August 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  22. ^ "Crystal Fighters’s Concert Listing – Discover music, videos, concerts, stats, & pictures at". 11 February 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  23. ^ "Crystal Fighters on Later with Jools Holland Videos « Crystal Fighters – Official Site". 11 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  24. ^ "James Blake and Crystal Fighters to Feature on New Channel 4 Music Show in April - Stereoboard UK". 15 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  25. ^ "Skins - Episode 7 music". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  26. ^ "Twitter / Crystal Fighters: RT @Sophie_Voyce: @ChloeHa". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  27. ^ "Various Artists - Harry Brown: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack MP3 Downloads". 7digital. 7 March 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  28. ^ "4Play - 4oD". Channel 4. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  29. ^ "Crooks & Lovers by Mount Kimbie - Download Crooks & Lovers on iTunes". 19 July 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  30. ^ "Magic Wands - Black Magic (Crystal Fighters Remix)". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  31. ^ Crystal Fighters (22 December 2010). "Crystal Fighters 'DJ Mixes' - DOWNLOAD THEM ALL FOR FREE .. MERRY CHRISTMAS by Crystal Fighters on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 

External links

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