CHVRCHES live at Hippodrome Kingston

In the evening of Monday 28th May, whilst scrolling Twitter I saw CHVRCHES mention a live show they were doing in Kingston the following night. After a quick browse to confirm it was all legit (it seemed too good to be true), I was in disbelief to quickly pick up 2 tickets, (£15 for a CD of the new album ‘Love Is Dead’ and tickets to the show), the night before they performed.

With our tickets bought, on Tuesday night, my dad and I – fans of CHVRCHES before they had an album out, and having seen them twice on their last two album tours – were amazed to turn up at the venue (Hippodrome Kingston) to see it was tiny – the people at the front were stood a couple of metres from the stage. The crowd was a mixed one of all ages, and the small standing space was packed. Soon before CHVRCHES hit the stage the venue opened an upstairs area which gave people the chance to watch from higher levels and get a good view, which added to the atmosphere of the place.

We weren’t going to settle for that though and bustled our way to the first few rows of people. We waited an hour and a half – the ‘Support’ we were promised never materialising – and at 9, they finally came out to deafening cheers.

It was any CHVRCHES fans dream – they played all their biggest hits in a set that lasted over an hour, from first album tracks ‘Recover’, ‘Lies’ and ‘Mother We Share’, to ‘Leave A Trace’ and ‘Clearest Blue’ from their second, and new album hits ‘Get Out’, ‘Miracle’, ‘My Enemy’ (with Martin standing in for Matt Bernim’s vocals) and my personal favourite ‘Graffiti’.

It was incredible, and they never disappoint, as they are flawless in their live performances. Lauren’s vocals have clearly improved and gotten stronger since the first time we saw her, and she filled the venue with her voice. Not to mentioned her endearing charm, her bumbling awkwardness of her audience interactions showing that no amount of fame can ever change her personality.

Highlights were mentions of her recent swearing fiasco on the BBC – although we’ve all agreed that she said ‘shady’ (definitely not ‘shitty’) on the radio. Also a small girl was at the front of the crowd and Lauren couldn’t resist giving her a hug, simultaneously melting everyone in the crowd’s hearts.

Being so close to the band was a treat – seeing Lauren up so close was enough to make anyone in the crowd starstruck, and watching Martin and Ian (and new member Jonny on drums) in all their musical genius up close was a sight to behold. They perform every bit of their instrumentals live, and it’s mesmerising watching them on their synths, keyboards and electric guitar throughout the show. We’d seen it before, but up close… wow. I can’t express how talented these guys are.

A real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is how it felt, seeing one of my all-time favourite bands so close in a small, intimate venue is a memory I’ll never forget. The set was amazing, their performance was brilliant, and I wish I could do it all over again.

If you ever get the chance to see CHVRCHES live, take it – you won’t regret it.

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