Best Concerts of Sziget 2016 #5: Chvrches

There comes that silly moment in your life when you’re facing Sziget’s main stage on which Noel Gallagher is performing some mighty nice music and you feel comfortable and at peace with the forces of the universe and therefore decide to look back in anger and promptly storm off to the A38 tent for some almost twee Scottish snythpop by a band who found it fit to spell the word Churches with a v. Insert here drunk Dutchman trying to pronounce the word accordingly- ccchvvvrches, I mean you can’t do it, and then everybody stares at him in disbelief, of course you can, out of all the people in the world someone speaking Dutch should be able to do it if they applied themselves just a little.
Linguistic discourses put aside, we might have had a slight tinge of remorse over The Desertion of Noel, but then again, Liam was always my favourite bloke in Oasis, basically because he’s an infuriating oaf, and what would the world of modern music be without a court jester extraordinaire. But it was not all about Oasis either- Chvrches were one of the bands whose arrival on the island filled me with genuine enthusiasm, partly because I found their records enjoyable and partly because they haven’t graced the island before.
Speaking of which, I just noticed the other day how on the brand new 2017 Sziget event page people who have started sharing their wishlists tend to go for very many acts who have already been to the festival, even quite frequently- they apparently even want Martin Garrix back which is wrong on so many levels that I immediately banished the thought from my mind. While I’m also happy to have many bands back (almost spoiler: this year’s number one is a repeat offender too), I’m always keen to discover new bands or to find out how bands whose records I like translate their magic into a live performance.
Chvrches, for one, do it particularly well. Although I must confess that lead singer Lauren’s voice might occasionally feel a tad too squeaky for me, her stage presence is utterly compelling- three piece bands often feel like there’s something or someone missing from the stage, but Lauren basically manages to be two people at once, or at least to store and release the energy of two. The sound is also dense and well-forged and they travel seamlessly from one track to another, with the notable exception of when Martin Doherty takes over as lead to deliver a couple of songs. It’s not that he’s bad at it, it’s just that he doesn’t work as a driving force quite in the same way as Lauren does, and a bunch of people suddenly decided to stream out of the tent, and that’s really not nice of them and I hope they got lost on the way to wherever they were going.
The band also committed the sin, already mentioned in connection with the Bloc Party gig, of not playing my favourite song, and they’re even more adamant about it, as I found no incidence of Lies in any of their sets since February this year, when for some reason they thought the good people attending the GoodVybes festival in the Philippines were worth the honour. Since everything else was there in the very best doses, I will forgive the offence for now. Also, I am guessing like this I can put them on the wishlist to repeat offend and maybe they’ll play it for me the next time.










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