Why this gig?
I hadn’t heard of Chvrches until they appeared on the last series of Later with Jools Holland. I seem to remember that it was a particularly dull episode and that only Chvrches stood out as a band that required further investigation. Since buying their album, The Bones Of What You Believe, it has competed with HAIM’s Days Are Gone for my most played album. I knew I had to see them live, it was just a case of waiting until they next played London.
Support was a young solo singer from Northern Ireland who called herself SOAK. I had never heard of her, but it seems I should have been paying closer attention to the Guardian – they marked her out as one to watch a year ago. And they were right. She’s great. I don’t know how often she plays London, but I look forward to seeing her again.
In many ways, Chvrches appear to be a band that were constructed just to appeal to me. Their music distills influences from so much that I love from the 1980s. And they have the cutest lead singer in the world – she’s forthright and intelligent too! It’s been years since I heard an album that I loved so much the first time that I heard it.
So I’m excited and nervous in approximately equal parts to see them live. Excited that I’m going to see them play. And nervous in case they can’t deliver the good live. I’ve seen that happen far too many times.
But I needed have worried at all. They are on top form. There have been times when I’ve been disappointed by the sound at the Forum, but tonight everything sounds great. And the band have the confidence of three people who have played together for a long time (actually, it’s only a little over two years) and can just get on with delivering the goods.
The set is made up completely of songs from the album – well one song is only on the extended version of the album – and that’s my only small criticism of the show. When bands are just starting out and only have one album then they often don’t have a lot of material to play. The set here is thirteen songs long (including a two song encore) and lasts just over an hour. It would be great to see them playing for longer. But that will no doubt come in time.
They seem to be pretty constantly on tour. So if you’ve missed them on this trip round the UK (this show was the last date on this UK tour) they will back again soon. I recommend seeing them as soon as possible. I’m trying to work out why I didn’t hear of them over the last couple of years and kicking myself over all the London shows I’ve missed.
The set list is on Setlist.fm.