Coming all the way from Glasgow, Scotland are the impeccable synth pop act Chvrches. This three piece consist of Lauren Mayberry (lead vocals, additional synthesisers, samplers), Iain Cook (synthesisers, guitar, bass, vocals) and Martin Doherty (synthesisers, samplers, vocals). I’ve been a fan since late 2012 and they literally have gone from strength to strength. The bands last tour saw them play at Alexandra Palace, due to the fact I don’t really like the venue made me skip that show. The moment they announced an Albert Session at the Royal Albert Hall I immediately purchased a ticket.
The set they performed consisted of 17 tracks, 10 from sophomore Every Open Eye and 7 from debut The Bones Of You Believe. The new album was infact my favourite record from 2015. Just listening to it leaves me grinning from beginning to end. Smothered in plenty of synth pop goodness you had the opening number Never Ending Circles. Lauren sweetly delivered this song to perfection. It was an infectious tune aided by excellent verses and a thumping chorus that had me hooked from the word go. NEC left me with a warm fuzzy feeling deep inside. Straight after it was time for Keep You On My Side. Now this was a fast paced romp with delectable verses and a punchy chorus “We bide our time, stay afloat/ Keepin’ the sun up off our boat// I never asked to know, I never planned/ Till it was swept out of my hand/ We bide our time, stay afloat/ Keepin’ the dying light exposed/ I never asked to know, I never lied/ So I could keep you on my side”. Mayberry’s heavenly vocals rendered me speechless. “Hello, we are a band called Chvrches. “Thank you very much for coming out to see us” Lauren mentioned before they got stuck into something from the debut and this being We Sink. This tune was mega catchy and just hearing it made me feel happy inside. Maybe it was the fact that synth pop is my thing or maybe it was the fact the verses were light and fluffy and the chorus was completely infectious. Straight after it was time for Make Them Gold. Just witnessing it live made me fall in love with it a little more. Make Them Gold was full of synth goodness and was an uplifting tune with a dreamy melody and entrancing lyrics “We are made of our longest days/ We are falling but not alone/ We will take the best parts of ourselves/ And make them gold”. This joyous song has to be one of my favourites from Every Open Eye. After some hilarious banter by Mayberry it was then time for Empty Threat. Other than being a highly catchy tune it also showcased Mayberry’s drumming skills. Everything about this joyous number screams floor filler. Chvrches have made a stellar synth pop cut here and Lauren Mayberry sweetly delivered it to perfection. My favourite part had to be the luscious chorus which reeled me in “Taking back an empty threat/ More than you could ever know/ Take it back with no regrets/ I was better off when I was on your side/ And I was holding on”. Martin then took the singing duties for the live debut of High Enough To Carry You Over and this being extremely energetic. Tether was an audience pleaser and it started off both soft and gentle. As soon as it progressed the more powerful and synth heavy it became. I simply adored this and the lyrics were incredible. After it was immediately onto Playing Dead which was very trancey. The moment Lauren start to sing this I fell for this number hook, line and sinker. Playing Dead was a smooth hypnotic cut with splendid verses and a dreamy chorus which gave me tingles “If I give more than enough ground, will you claim it?/ I will take it all in one breath and hold it down/ And if I try to pretend that I don’t hear it/ You can tell me to move and I won’t go/ You can tell me to try and I won’t go”. Like Empty Threat Lauren played the drum pads in front of her midway during this compelling cut. 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. “Thank you guys so much for coming down to the show. This is very nice. We are really excited and honoured to be playing in such an iconic venue” Lauren then humbly said before getting stuck into 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.
Straight after it was onto the anthem which is Bury It. This performance was a right spectacle and this was a stomping synth pop tune with ever so catchy lyrics and a refrain of“Bury it and rise above”. Next Martin Doherty took the lead for Under The Tide. Despite the change of singer for this the electro vibe was prominent throughout. Martin and Lauren basically switched places. UTT was delivered with plenty of gusto and was utterly electric. The mesmerising and dreamy Recover was next up. This tune will always be a favourite of mine. 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. “If you’re new hello and if you’re a repeat customer thank you very much. It’s weird that we’ve now played so many shows that we see the same faces sometimes over and over again. It kind of feels like two months or something since we first played in London” Lauren then mentioned before Leave A Trace. This entrancing number was smothered with lovely synths and aided by lyrics which left you well and truly hooked “And you had best believe/ That you cannot build what I don’t need/ And I know I need to feel relief/ And I know you’ll never fold/ But I believe nothing that I’m told/ And I know I need to feel relief/ I know I need to feel released/ Take care to tell it just as it was/ Take care to tell on me for the cause/ I know I need to feel released/ Take care to bury all that you can/ Take care to leave a trace of a man”. They then ended with Clearest Blue. Now this was a magical song which had lyrics which sent shivers up my spine. The vocals were pure perfection and this just like the rest of the set was bubble gum synth pop which left me enchanted. I adored this fast paced number and it definitely had me moving on the spot.Once over Chvrches left the stage only to return moments for a 2 song encore. First you had the slowie which was Afterglow. This hypnotic cut was one I fell for instantly, it was actually a swooning song which was ever so gentle and beautiful at the same time. Only one song could end such a monumental evening and that being The Mother We Share. This was a danceable tune its synths were ever so luscious. The Mother We Share had stellar lyrics and it was electro pop at its best.
Never Ending Circles
Keep You On My Side
Make Them Gold
High Enough To Carry You Over
Under The Tide
Leave A Trace
The Mother We Share
OVERALL: My burning passion for Chvrches grows and grows. I really wish I could see them multiple times each year as their music makes me so happy. The new album Every Open Eye is literally amazing as there are so many terrific tracks. My favourites from that record have to be Keep You On My Side, Make Them Gold, Leave A Trace and Empty Threat. My dream would be to meet them in person and I really hope that will happen one day. Still I can only see them getting bigger and I wont be surprise if an O2 Arena show is announced for next year.