Chvrches and Let’s Eat Grandma – 19th February 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)
It seems whatever music you’re into, the mere mention of Chvrches stirs up excitement that tonight and the last two times they played Newcastle they have SOLD OUT the O2 Academy, with those who love metal, indie and electro-pop, that it is a wonder that they didn’t add the Arena for this date as looking at the tour for their release Love Is Dead the bigger venue could have easily been close to selling out too.
Let’s Eat Grandma entertained a pretty full Academy with their psychedelic sludge pop combined with choreographed dance moves you simply couldn’t keep your eyes off as they swapped from synths, guitars, sax, keys and even recorder whilst jumping about the stage…and even off it at one point that the pink wig fell from Jenny’s head making Rosa keeping check on hers. A brilliant opener for what was to come as whether it was stage presence and/or simply the music Let’s Eat Grandma definitely got our attention.
Excitement and every gap filled as Get Out opened the night and electrified the packed crowd. The pulsating Bury It followed with frontwoman Lauren Mayberry running about the stage stopping to grab the mic stand and lunging it into the air when not singing into it. Throughout the night there is a great mix of songs from all their albums with Graffiti getting the biggest shouts screams from the latest Love Is Dead.
Although Mayberry is seen as the face of Chvrches, other band members Iain Cook and Martin Doherty (and silent fourth member drummer Jonny Scott) equally do their parts and there is a great engagement not only between them on stage but it reflects to the audience. Doherty gets the chance to take the spotlight as he leads on God’s Plan and Under The Tide as Mayberry slips into his place and from this point on when not on the keys and with his guitar, Doherty gets out on that stage and jumps around just as much as Mayberry. There’s even a few moments for Cook too. Their energy is infectious and the crowd are with them every second. They even get on a personal level interacting about the football and the horse incident and the (good) old days of visiting MetroLand and even being on a hen do in Newcastle. Those visiting Newcastle from out of town are thoroughly engaged in this conversation too.
Really Gone is the moment that Mayberry catches a break and sits down, Scott emerges briefly too and joins in on guitar. After a back-to-back whammy of possibly their biggest hits; Recover, Leave A Trace and Clearest Blue the band return from a brief encore and Mayberry stuns us with an a-cappella opening to Mother We Share; half the crowd are awed in silence and the other half sing along before it kicks into all its glory. With a very heartfelt thanks and the amazement of Mayberry spotting Chvrches tee-shirts from their early days to present, they end with Never Say Die and to hear and see the crowd joining in with the chorus loud and clear with their hands up really was one of those moments you live for at a live gig.
Click a thumbnail to view fullscreen
View more photo galleries via our Music Photography Library