CHVRCHES @ Leadmill, Sheffield 12/10/13

The trio from Glasgow brought their Scottish synth pop sound down to Yorkshire, more precisely to Sheffield’s Leadmill for the second night of touring their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, which was released on 23rd September.

The Leadmill, which somehow reminds me of a smaller Rock City, was already almost crammed full by the time support act Thumpers started playing. The London based band, containing a former member of Pull Tiger Tail, entertained the crowd and roused us, with their sound which they describe as being ‘pop in the soul and experimental in form’, which incorporates boy/girl harmonies and the odd blast of trumpet.

By the time CHVRCHES’ set started, the venue was bursting at the seams and the stage was adorned with a multitude of red and blue flashing lights. They opened with We Sink and Lungs before churning through the album – which is all that can be expected from a headline band with a reasonably limited amount of material.

Although Lauren Mulberry isn’t the most exciting front woman to watch (she’s no Karen O), there is something endearing about her lack of bravado. Instead of putting on a theatrical show, she bounced around the stage cracking jokes about her band mate’s hangovers, and sharing with us her excitement about being Radio 4 earlier on in the day, chatting about the representation of women in music (this in itself makes me instantly think she’s a top lass).

We all knew CHVRCHES were teasing us when they left the stage having not played their most widely known hit, and recently re-released The Mother We Share, but thankfully they didn’t let us down and came on for an encore. We also got an extra treat at the end in the form of a cover of Whitney’s It’s Not Right, But It’s Ok – who doesn’t love a bit of Houston?

Sometimes electro music fails to translate very well from record to gig, but CHVRCHES’ performance was pretty tight and sounded wicked. Given their growing popularity (read: they’re often on Radio 1), then perhaps opportunities to see them in a small-ish venue like the Leadmill may be few and far between in the future. Overall, considering they aren’t the kind of band I’d usually go and watch, I was suitably impressed.

By Katie Harrison