Chvrches, Somerset House, review: 'Overpoweringly disconnected'

2.00

The band mistakenly swamp themselves in backing tracks

Somerset House's annual 10-day festival of live music events is packed with the pop-favourites this year including Kelis, Sam Smith, Clean Bandit and tonight's Chvrches.

The three-piece Scottish band play songs from their stunning debut release 'The Bones of What You Believe'. From opener “We Sink” to the encore of “By The Throat” it is full of playful analogue sounds inspired by their '80s heroes with euphorically built synthpop and icily programmed drum beats that- though lacking a live drummer- are the backbone of a gig which is blighted by musical miscommunications.

Dwarfed by the grandness of their surroundings, Chvrches mistakenly swamp themselves in backing track. Lead singer Lauren Mayberry pushes her vocals to the limit to get through the barrier only to sound nasal and whispish- more like the emo cries of Hayley Williams than her robust vocal depth on record. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty on synths and sampling equipment are impressive too but not always smooth as they also work hard to enhance the subtle electronic flourishes in a booming courtyard.

We still catch the intriguing glitches of New Order beats on “Science/Visions”, the moody sweeps on “Now Is Not The Time” and the warped, instrumental hip hop on “Night Sky” but the reliance on prerecorded sounds makes it confusing what exactly the two men are playing in this multilayered synth mist and it leaves us with a sense of being overpoweringly disconnected.

The immediacy and infectiously-built euphoric element of Chvrches synth-pop seem lacking tonight- nothing is comfortable nor smooth and the band simply miss showcasing the talents so very clear on their debut album.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup