Ruby Lounge, Manchester
There's an 80's synth-pop revival going on, and the Ruby Lounge in Manchester was its most recent host. Since "Drive" re-popularised the dying genre early last year, a wave of new talent has adopted the retro vibe. CHVRCHES are joining that wave. With the flawless vocals of Lauren Mayberry and their abstractly euphoric sound, the trio’s performance made their potential entirely apparent to a crowded venue two nights ago.
Taking to the stage in humble fashion, the Glaswegians began inauspiciously. Mayberry took to the microphone nervously, Ian Cook and Martin Doherty joining her at their respective keyboards, but, after a quick hello, their music soon spoke for itself. An electro snare broke through the silence and as Mayberry started swaying the recognisable synths of Lies kick-started the set.
CHVRCHES have a unique and amicable sound, moving from waves of melancholic tones, such as those prominent in Now is Not the Time, to the energetic electronic beats that punctuate each song. The backing singers’ vocal work lacked impact live and the music failed to get the (surprisingly aged) crowd dancing for the most part, but as a band CHVRCHES showed good composure, and great skill, considering they only formed just over a year ago. The trio placed 5th on the BBC’s “Sound of 2013”list and for good reason: while Lauren still looked like a deer in headlights, The Mother We Share concluded the set impressively. Delaying their best and most recognisable song to the last was a great move, and the Glaswegians even got a few oldens jiggling their hips before they had to say their goodbyes.
Words: Rich Jinks + Sam Reevey