Live Review

CHVRCHES, The Forum, London

There’s just something in the shining pop and somewhat shy demeanour that make CHVRCHES impossible not to fall in love with.

CHVRCHES were pushed into the limelight quicker than most. After posting first track ‘Lies’ online it was only a matter of months before they were hitting best new music polls and selling out shows. With such notable success it’s little wonder that they’ve already turned their hand to assisting other emerging artists with the launch of their label, Goodbye Records. Their first signing, SOAK, is tonight’s support.

The contrast between the two acts is sure to be a good one. With an impending set of dazzling synth-pop on the cards from the Glasgow trio, singer/songwriter Soak provides a gentle opener. With simply an acoustic guitar and otherworldly vocals it is her confidence that is most astonishing of all. At the age of 17 her tiny frame is swallowed up by the stage at The Forum but the 2000+ capacity venue doesn’t daunt her in the least. Instead she interjects cheeky Irish banter between her delicate songs, each one led by dreamy vocals.

Ever the professionals, CHVRCHES take to the stage bang on 9pm entering to a heady atmosphere of flashing lights and the crowd already dancing to the thudding bass line of ‘We Sink.’

If the band has been criticised in the past for being too static on stage, it’s a label they seem determined to shake off this evening. Lauren Mayberry picks her moments and remains her modest self most of the time, allowing her girlish vocals to slice through the huge dance beats. Whilst there’s the lingering impression that she still feels most comfortable attached to her mic, she’s grown her on-stage persona and throws shapes at the back of the stage as the beat drops, silhouetted against their lit-up logo.

With glimmering synth and a euphoric chorus it’s little wonder that the crowd go wild for ‘Gun’. Their enthusiasm is matched onstage and the band gives an energetic performance.

As Martin takes centre stage for ‘Under The Tide’, he dances for his life, flinging himself into the air when the lilting verses drop to a club-worthy beat for the chorus. It’s difficult not to get swept away by the pounding bass and several thousand people dancing along.

The tracks are all the more impressive for their live setting. The dark 80s synth of ‘Science/Visions’ becomes more brooding and industrial with echoed vocals, florescent lighting and crashing drums. The more syrupy pop tracks are heavy on the bass creating a perfect Saturday night vibe.

Say what you will about CHVRCHES but for a band with such structured, electronic pop songs they certainly know how to evoke strong emotions in a crowd. From the mo-hawked Camden crust punk shouting along to all of the words to ‘Tether’, to Mr average Joe dancing wildly and alone at the back of the room and not giving a shit, there’s just something in the shining pop and somewhat shy demeanour that make CHVRCHES impossible not to fall in love with. The electric atmosphere at Forum tonight is only testament to that.

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