Review | Crystal Tides at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea: 'An hour of killer indie-rock'

THEY have been busy taking their sound around the country, but this was Crystal Tides’ first headline show in Portsmouth for more than three years.

By Richard Derbyshire
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:33 pm

And on the warmest day of the year, this was the hottest ticket in town, with the lively hometown five-piece selling more than anyone else for a gig at The Wedge since pre-pandemic March 2020.

Lead singer Billy Gregory, guitarists Harry Knowles and Neil Cripps, bassist George Regan and drummer Joe Knights also showed what a formidable setlist they now have, playing more than an hour of killer indie-rock songs, including Radio 1-played single Sorry from their new EP Side Effect, plus favourites Little Lies, I Don’t Wanna Wait, Backbiting, and Headcase and Honey in a frenzied two-song encore.

‘This is special, it’s good to be back, who wants to do some singing?’ Billy asked the crowd. The decisive response meant he didn’t need to ask twice.

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Crystal Tides at The Wedgewood Rooms on June 17, 2022. Picture by Rhona Murphy

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But one tune this evening will have meant more than any other. The frontman explained he wrote one song after the recent death from cancer of 30-year-old friend Charlie Crawford, who had wanted to be at this gig, before the whole band gave it an emotionally-charged first live performance.

After recently supporting The Sherlocks and touring northern cities themselves, this band will know that there is a proven path from selling out your hometown to building a national fan base.

Following this gig, it is a journey they now seem destined to make.

Crystal Tides at The Wedgewood Rooms on June 17, 2022. Picture by Rhona Murphy

Earlier, Guildford’s Juno and Southampton’s Tom Millichamp drew a big early crowd.

Crystal Tides play Beats & Swing stage at Victorious Festival on Saturday, August 27.