Whether or not Chvrches’ immediate success can be classed as niche or not, they’ve definitely cultivated a strong following with their debut studio album, titled The Bones of What You Believe. The album filled London’s Somerset House, with the terrifically unique synthpop sound. However, despite its varied vibes, it ended up being both their biggest strength and weakness.
The crowd stood in anticipation in the courtyard of Somerset house as the orange sun began to dip below the iconic building. As the trio took to the stage, dressed in casual black, the excitement grew stronger. Wisely, they opened with the captivating We Sink that immediately hooked the crowd. Some singing, some swaying, everyone grinning, the opener worked wonders to transform the crowd from anticipation to comfortably excited, phone wielding fanatics.
The rest of the gig saw each track from their debut album, and even though front woman Lauren Mayberry started somewhat timidly, it seemed she quickly grew comfortable with the intimate venue, allowing her stunning vocals to echo though the courtyard. There’s definitely something to be said for the way her voice walks the line between hauntingly high pitched and beautifully soft; either way, juxtaposed against their electric sounds, Chvrches find an awesome vibe that creates real atmosphere. Between sets she kept the crowd amused with quips and anecdotes; delivered almost nervously, it could have been perceived as self-conscious but in truth was rather charming and comfortingly humble.
Each song was delivered with what seemed like a very genuine love for the music, making most of Chvrches standout tracks, like the obvious We Sink, Rocover and Gun, come to life in the live setting. Yet it was the electric and somewhat mellow Under The Tide that surprised most, with Martin Doherty swapping with Lauren Mayberry to take centre stage on vocals and delivering a passionate performance to break up the gig, complete with energetic dance. The performance ending The Mother We Share managed to fill its own giant sized shoes and had the audience in an electric excitement that begged more (to which they delivered). It’s just a shame that their track list is currently so short, as it would have been nice to see some of their unique covers like East 17’s Stay Another Dayperformed on BBC radio 1’s live lounge, or the wildly popular ‘Do I Wanna Know’ originally by Arctic Monkey’s, covered by Chvrches on triple J.
Still, what was there was brought to life by a particularly standout light show that gave vigorous life to the stage, becoming more and more prominent as the sun left, illuminating the black clad ensemble and creating a visual delight that bounced around to the beat. For what was the hottest day of the year, the whole affair was a delight in the evening breeze. Chvrches feels like one of those bands who are teetering on the edge of worldwide greatness, and with that in mind the intimate nature of the Somerset house felt like the perfect place to enjoy their distinctive brand of synthpop before it’s too late.