By Jacob Hurt
A sell-out crowd turned up at the Manchester Academy on Thursday night to see the final night of Chvrches’ ‘The Bones of What you Believe’ tour. The Scottish trio have come a long way since their last appearance at the Academy two years ago – a single in the UK Top 40; performances at some of the biggest festivals in the country; and a debut album (for which the tour is named) which has just gone gold.
Minneapolis, Minnesota based singer/rapper Lizzo opened the evening. Perhaps best known for providing vocals for the title track “New Eyes” on Clean Bandit’s debut album, her strong rapping technique and RnB inspired hooks had the crowd moving by the end of her set. The combination of DJ Sophia Eris’ bass-driven beats and Lizzo’s crowd interaction (including pulling a member of the audience up to dance with her) building up the room for the main event.
I managed to see Chvrches twice over summer – at Reading Festival and later at Bestival – and every time they have delivered an energetic, electric performance. The smaller, more intimate venue of the 3000 capacity Academy suited them very well, providing a close environment for their impressive light show.
Lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s vocals proved to be just as good live as in the studio, delivering songs like “Tether” with a tender yet powerful tone, and keeping the crowd engaged with her on-stage banter and stores of £12 tambourines. Martin Doherty allowed Mayberry a break in their hour-and-a-half set, taking over vocals on “Under the Tide”, and putting real passion into his performance. Chvrches truly are a band that just love to perform.
The album’s lead single “The Mother We Share” got the biggest cheer of the evening as it closed the first part of the set- the infectious synth line and sing-along chorus making it a true indie anthem. The band left the stage to massive applause before coming back for a three song encore including new single “Dead Air” which was recorded for the next Hunger Games movie.
Mayberry remarked that “this is our last gig until…well, we haven’t got any others booked”, which hopefully means the group will be returning to the studio shortly.
After a successful debut album and tour, they are certainly one to watch for the future.
Jacob Hurt is in his second year studying English and Film at MMU. He enjoys gaming, films, and music. At the weekend he’s often found drowning his sorrows about Tottenham’s tragic season. Find Jacob on Twitter: @shinyjaker