Chvrches, Soak - Cardiff University,13th March 2014 6

Chvrches, Soak – Cardiff University,13th March 2014

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You cannot have failed to have witnessed Chvrche’s impressive rise over the last 12 months. Last years debut album The Bones Of What You Believe going top 10 a sure indication of their widespread appeal. Musically this synth-pop threesome made up of Lauren Mayberry (Vocals) Iain Cook & Martin Doherty (Synthesisers, Vocals, Samples & Bass) fall comfortably into the path well trodden by Robin, Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins and Le Roux to name a few.

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Emanating from Glasgow, you might expect another earnest guitar band. What we have here is a very different proposition, a band bursting with shimmering pop sensibilities encased within a sleek & shiny electronica.

Their biggest tour to date sees them in front of a sold out crowd here tonight in Cardiff. Just before hitting the stage ‘Master and Servant’ by the aforementioned Depeche Mode is played over the PA. This either serves to align themselves with such luminaries; or perhaps a telling insight into their relationship with fans. Like a lot of electronic acts, visuals/lighting play a key part of the show. As they make their way on stage, their backdrop (album logo) illuminates and lights up the entire room.
With the two-thirds of the band obscured by keyboards, laptops etc. initially it seems to be very much up to Lauren to carry the performance and be the centre of attention with Iain and Martin providing the beats, loops, and samples. It’s Lauren’s vocals that pierce the electronic rumblings of first song ‘We Sink’.

Without a pause, they launch into ‘Lies’ which, live, is darker and more intense. It’s at this point everything begins to fall into place and make sense. Lauren cuts an enigmatic presence on stage, at times aloof, and somewhat understated, which is just perfect. Not until almost half-way through the show does she address the crowd with banter about MTV show ‘The Valleys’ commenting on the fact that we are not all the stereotypes portrayed.

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The set (as to be expected) is made up of their début album, so ‘Lungs’, ‘Now Is Not The Time’ and ‘Tether’ all get an airing. At various points in the show, unwanted calls of ‘I Love You Lauren’ can be heard from some of the men within the crowd. Sadly (as Lauren had previously expressed in an article in The Guardian) she has been the recipient of a lot of unwanted and explicit online male attention. Lauren however doesn’t acknowledge these proclamations as the band charge through their set, this time changing it up somewhat with Iain (now on Bass) stepping out from behind the keyboards to throw some rock star shapes and Martin taking over lead vocals for ‘Under The Tide’. This proved a surprising highlight, with Martin’s frenetic dancing adding a palpable urgency to proceedings.
A sing along ensues with ‘The Mother We Share’, the audience lapping up the few remaining morsels of the set. After the encore (‘By The Throat’) it’s all over, a short but sweet visit by our Scottish cousins. Whatever happens as a result of Scottish independence, judging by tonight, they will always have family here in Wales.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.