Reading & Leeds 2014

Chvrches cement themselves as the real deal at Reading 2014

This time last year Chvrches hinted at greatness - now they’ve seized that opportunity.

Slight limits were in place last time Chvrches played here. They headlined the Festival Republic stage on the eve of their debut album being released, back in 2013. Everything was ready and perfectly poised for their ascent, but fans weren’t fully acquainted with songs, and these Scots weren’t quite the affirmed, brilliantly confident act they return as one year on.

Again, last year the set-up wasn’t nearly as complete - now, a dazzling light show attacks from all sides. The giant ‘The Bones of What You Believe’ logo beams forwards, glittering next to an orange slow of a sunset that creeps through into the NME/Radio 1 tent. “All of our songs are dark, lyrically, but sonically they’re always up,” jokes singer Lauren Mayberry before introducing the goosebump-inducing ‘Tether’, and in a way she’s pointing out that things shouldn’t be nearly as euphoric as they are. But something clicks. These dark, tense synth pop songs from their debut take on such a deft balancing act. At festivals, all of a sudden, they sound like actual anthems. The kind Ibiza might fall heads over heels in love with, not just adoring hardcore fans that fill the tent tonight.

Every song showcased ends up reaching one attention-swerving high. ‘Science/Visions’ starts subtle, but morphs into a giant. ‘We Sink’ wastes no time in introductions and dives headfirst for the gut, while closer ‘The Mother We Share’ takes things even further. Fans re-enact the bit-by-bit vocal samples, leap in excitement when Mayberry reaches the soaring chorus. It’s only taken a year, but Chvrches have gone from a near-guaranteed success to the real deal.

Chvrches play Leeds Festival tomorrow, 24th August. For all DIY's Reading & Leeds updates, head here.

Tags: CHVRCHES, Reading & Leeds, Festivals, Reviews, Live Reviews

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