Live Review: Chvrches, Cardiff Solus


It’s hard to know what to expect from a band like CHVRCHES. When the band consists of essentially two guys behind keyboards and a singer, one might not expect much of a performance from the live show. In some ways this is true, but at the same time they are somehow completely mesmerising. This probably has a lot to do with the combination of the stunning visual show and the dirty, powerful sound that is CHVRCHES. The delicate yet dominating vocals of lead singer Lauren Mayberry come washing over the crowd in waves, completely enthralling all concerned into an almost trance like state of perpetual swaying under the pulsating, psychedelic LED displays filling every inch of the already partially stripped-out Solus. The tiny Mayberry certainly has a set of pipes on her and all credit to her, doesn’t miss a note.

Running through pretty much the entirety of their 2013 debut ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ CHVRCHES are clearly a band intent on progressing, with Mayberry point blank refusing to dwell on the past by announcing before the encore that they wouldn’t be playing any of the covers that launched them to fame, but playing only from the album that they worked so hard on. There is not a complaint in room about this as every single album track transfers beautifully to the live show, highlights including singles, ‘The Mother We Share’ and ‘Lies’, and the gritty, dancey ‘Lungs’.

The whole show is a completely bizarre experience, at times feeling like some sort of crazy synth infused karaoke night, or a Kraftwerk show as a result of the bands set up; evenly spaced, rooted to their places, moving for the occasional bass jam or fist pump. You would think this would be dull after a while but it completely isn’t, CHVRCHES somehow make this mad dynamic their own and know exactly what they are doing, a mood that transfers to the crowd perfectly, dispelling all initial doubt about how CHVRCHES would come across live in an instant.

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