Venue: Village Underground, London
Date: April 29
“Can I do something embarrassing?” singer Lauren Mayberry asked as she returned for the encore at Chvrches’ London headline show. Earlier, she had claimed to have “absolutely smashed” “Lady Marmalade” at karaoke. To prove it, she ran through Lil’ Kim’s rap from the 2001 version. Such humorous moments were at odds with Chvrches’ ice-cool reputation, but revealed Mayberry as the beating human heart at the center of their glacial electronic perfection. So while Iain Cook and Martin Doherty constructed Giorgio Moroder-esque walls of synths on “If We Sink” and “Recover,” Mayberry’s vocals–capable of Ellie Goulding-ish wispiness and Robyn-style grit–brought the emotion that makes Chvrches stand out from the electro-pop congregation. Fittingly, a gig that started by sampling Prince’s introductory speech from “Let’s Go Crazy” ended with a shimmering cover of his “I Would Die 4 U.” Anything but “embarrassing” karaoke, it confirmed Chvrches as a band of which electric dreams are made.