'Feeling and sounding so complete, this is the audio equivalent of a high five'
Andrew Trendell
08:38 24th September 2015

"When we started, we never thought we'd have one record, let alone two," smiles Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry, "which is, y'know - pretty cool."

Cool indeed, but y'know, to us now that seems kind of absurd. While their genuinely humbled 'mate at a wedding' stage banter is just a reflection of them as three friends dazzled in the headlights of their own success, the very design of this this band was only ever meant for truly great things.

A tiny Tufnell Park gig this may be, but their headline show at Alexandra Palace is just around the corner. That's an iconic space saved only for the most revered - have Chvrches earned their place there? 

'Hell yes', is our answer. As the swelling synths of 'Never Ending Circles' pulsate into the sweaty room, Mayberry cuts a striking silhouette as she punches the sky. Flanked by Iain Cook and Martin Doherty, they couldn't seem any further from an accident - the sound, aesthetic and experience of Chvrches as they launch LP No.2 Every Open Eye is so utterly complete. 

While 'We Sink' and 'Lies' land with the familiar favour of tracks thrice their age, it's the new numbers that show Chvrches at their absolute best. 'Keep You On My Side' brings the room to life with its sci-fi rush, while 'Empty Threat' is an overwhelming surge of happy toxins - brought on by the kind of soundtrack to those moments in 80s movies where the losers figure it out and come out on top. So shamelessly satisfying, this is the audio equivalent of high five. 

Watch Chvrches debut 'Empty Threat' below

"That's the first time I've played drums in front of humans since like, 2011," smiles Mayberry afterwards, stepping away from a lively snare performance before bemoaning how much effort they are to tune. "Not that we're lazy - please don't put that in your review."

We wouldn't dream of it. They give it all this evening. Many acts would drive us to boredom with a set that leans so heavily on debuting new tracks, but its the calibre of Every Open Eye that holds us through the entirety - from the elgaic ache of 'Playing Dead' to the shimmering mini epic of 'Make Them Gold', its the thrill of seeing our finest upstarts fully realising their potential and fulfilling their promise that makes tonight such a thrill. 

"I got a cordless microphone for this album," smiles Mayberry, showing off her new toy. "We got it because we're playing a lot of big venues but here I feel a bit stupid...please don't think that we've changed!" Well, not for the worse, as what followed is the sure-fire single and bona fide anthem 'Bury It'. An epic call to arms, this is the kind of track that arenas were built for - that mic is going to come in handy. 

Watch Chvrches debut 'Bury It' below

The true focal point of their set however, is now 'Clearest Blue'. One can't say enough good things about this track - it's a mini odyssey of power-pop and the dictionary definition of 'banger'. That drop is only more insane in the live arena, possessing everyone in the room into a united rave. It's seeing a band get such a reaction at moments like this, that one can realistically hope that they may yet bloom into the Depeche Mode or Human League for a new era.

Not to say that Chvrches are a nostalgia act by any means - their considered evolution takes the finest elements of pop's past and sends them racing into the future. Chvrches only ever feel like 'now'. It's hard to imagine life without them, and becoming one of the biggest bands in the planet in the records to come. Which is, y'know, pretty cool.  

Chvrches played:
Never Ending Circles
We Sink
Keep You On My Side
Lies
Empty Threat
Tether
Playing Dead
Science/Visions
Gun
Make Them Gold
Under The Tide
Leave A Trace
Bury It
Recover
Clearest Blue
Encore:
Afterglow
The Mother We Share

Tickets for Chvrches' UK tour dates are on sale now. See full dates below. For tickets and more information, click here.

Monday 16 November - Brighton Dome
Tuesday 17 November - Bristol, O2 Academy
Thursday 19 November - Manchester, Albert Hall
Saturday 21 November - Newcastle, O2 Academy
Monday 23 November - Aberdeen, Music Hall
Tuesday 24 November - Dundee, Fat Sam’s
Wednesday 25 November - Birmingham, O2 Academy
Friday 27 November - London, Alexandra Palace (w/ special guest Four Tet)

More about:


Photo: Emma Viola Lilja