Chvrches: Met University, Leeds

As Leeds Metropolitan University Student Union began to fill up to capacity with an excitable audience eagerly anticipating an energetic set from Chvrches they were treat to something very different from SOAK. The 17 year old confidently performed a collection of songs which endeared her to the audience who may have been expecting lively electronic music from a support act.

Although SOAK wasn’t in a similar vein to Chvrches she didn’t disappoint and set about impressing the crowd with her enviable vocal display, and the potential that Chvrches have seen in her by signing her to their label Goodbye Records became apparent. Her vocals embraced her Irish accent and complimented her delicate acoustic guitar playing.

The warmth and tender nature of SOAKs’ vocals made the step up in energy as Chvrches took the stage even more noticeable. They were almost in complete contrast to SOAK, she was a singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar under a spotlight while they were an energetic band with big stage production. From the start they were lively, shaking the foundations of the room, with a captivating light show fitting seamlessly alongside their noisy electronic pop.

They opened with ‘We Sink’ as the drum machine crashed and the bass sends tremors through the floor. Ian Cook and Martin Doherty expertly displayed their technical wizardry, both frantically hitting buttons and tweaking synths and effects units. The sound they create is so big that in regularly engulfs Lauren Mayberrys’ ethereal vocals making them seem meager and inaudible when in reality she has a powerful, flawless voice. During the moments where the instrumentation is lulled to showcase the vocals her voice is sweet and uplifting whilst seeming to be constantly on the verge of switching to explosive angry emotion. Mayberry also showed that she is not just a pretty voice, swapping places with Doherty on two occasions and competently handling the technology while he sang.

The audience clearly appreciated the high points of ‘Lies’ and ‘Gun’, frantically clapping and singing along to each chorus. For me it was album tracks such as ‘Tether’ which really showed the creativity of the band and their ability to work the crowd up from a mellow beginning to a euphoric climax. As the set closed with ‘The Mother We Share’ the crowd revelled in their favourite number after thoroughly enjoying a set which found a happy medium between an indie gig and a DJ set in a club.

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