Birthdays was hosting something incredibly special and this being the launch of Chvrches debut album The Bones Of What You Believe. After having missed the opportunity to get tickets for the Shepherds Bush Empire show attending this was a must. It was the 3rd time I had seen this Scottish band and it was actually the smallest place I had witnessed them live. Chvrches are a 3 piece Scottish band consisting of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty.
There was applause as they took to the stage only to open up with the contagious We Sink. The verses were light and fluffy. It’s chorus was infectious and memorable “I’ll be a thorn in your side, till you die”. This number was sythpop and it was also rather captivating from the very beginning. “We’re a band called Chvrches. This is cosy. This is our album launch” Lauren Mayberry then said to the audience whilst also thanking them in the process for attending. It was then onto the next tune of the evening. Lungs sounded completely stunning. I found this to be upbeat and Lauren’s vocals were simply spotless. Even Martin Doherty sang some lines. What I liked was the fact that the use of the synths all came together resulting in one cracking track. It was then straight onto Gun. This felt like an 80′s pop track with phenomenal lyrics which were delivered to perfection. Aside from being pacey/ infectious what stood out was the killer chorus that hits you right in the face. After plenty of cheers it was then onto Now Is Not The Time. This song featured on the Recover EP. I loved this tune it was gentle and mellowing. The lyrics were top notch and I found it to be rather dreamy at the same time. “Nothing now can ever come between us/ As we hide and watch the city burn/ There is much that I still want to tell you/ But now is not the time to speak of love”. I found this to be rather infectious especially the hypnotic chorus. It was straight onto Lies which ranked #28 in NME’s Top Tracks of 2012. Lies was hypnotic and was an electro pop tune aided by soft/ gentle vocals by Lauren Mayberry. This entrancing tune had wonderful lyrics which easily gets you moving. Lauren’s vocals were very reminiscent of Swedish singer Robyn. Night Sky follow on. At first it started off with a drumbeat then the synths came in which backed the vocals to perfection. Mayberry may of sang the bulk of this excellent song but Doherty also had some parts which made me think of The xx. Night Sky was played at a slower tempo compared to what had already been perform.
What was next was Strong Hand which was a song I hadn’t heard performed live before. For some reason this didn’t make the cut and appeared as a bonus iTunes track instead. This was a sweet and dreamy number which you can easily dance along too. What followed on was Science/ Visions and this was a stunning song that has the abilities to be a club classic. Mayberry’s vocals were sublime and this tune was delivered with plenty of gusto. Recover was played straight after. People may disagree but I see this being the highlight from all of the current songs Chvrches have. For starters it was a beautiful number and the electroness was prominent. Secondly the lyrics were contagious the verses were faultless and the enchanting chorus is one that you feel obliged to sing along to “And if I recover, will you be my comfort?/ or it can be over, or we can just leave it here”. Lauren Mayberry literally belted out this track. Next Martin Doherty had his own song and this was Under The Tide. Before getting stuck into it he then revealed that the album would be coming out in September. Despite the change of singer for this the electro vibe was prominent throughout. Martin and Lauren basically switched places. It was actually refreshing to have a song with a male vocal. It was then onto a premiere of a song on home turf and this being By The Throat. I was left captivated when hearing this beautiful song being performed live. It was delivered at a steady pace and the vocal delivery was top notch. What ended a highly enjoyable evening was the crowd pleasing The Mother We Share. This is probably the most danceable tune that they played and its synths were luscious. The Mother We Share had stellar lyrics and it was electro pop at its best.
Now Is Not The Time
Under The Tide
By The Throat
The Mother We Share
OVERALL: Chvrches are a band I highly rate and a band whose popularity will grow and grow. What was showcased this evening was superb and also the album is fantastic. There are so many crackers featured on that album and it was nice to hear them live. Before the LP was released I would of said that Recover was my favourite but now it’s joint favourite with Strong Hand.
As for Strong Hand, it was absolutely faultless live and it is also a crime that it only featured as an iTunes bonus track. It is actually better than some of the songs on there (Under The Tide is one of them).
Still it was a pleasure just to be one of the lucky ones whom got a ticket for this album launch because this will be the last small venue they will EVER play in for a long long time.