It’s not every day that you’re blessed with the good fortune of finding out that a band you’ve been wanting to see for a while is supporting a band you already have tickets for. I was already really pleased to discover that Everything Everything were supporting Two Door Cinema Club at Saturday’s gig at the Ally Pally, but when I found out on Saturday morning that Chvrches were also supporting I was over the moon. I’ve been trying to see Chvurches for a while but diary clashes had conspired against me. And so I found myself in the crowd, with 17 friends, on Saturday night, eagerly awaiting their arrival on stage.
Kicking off their set with a slowed down version of the intro to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” was a promising start and Chvrches soon got into their stride, playing a selection of their electro-infused tracks, and swapping vocal and synth duties between the threesome. By the time they struck into their latest EP, “Recover”, a large number of people in the crowd were bobbing and singing with them.
All too soon they disappeared backstage, leaving the scene set for Everything Everything, who drew whoops and whistles from the crowd with their opener, “Cough Cough”. Speeding through their more popular tracks, including old favourite “My Kz Yr Bf” and new track “Duet”, the audience were enthusiastic and eagerly clapped and uttered more whoops of encouragement. Both support acts received a great reception, which was well deserved as they really set up the party atmosphere that was ignited as soon as Two Door Cinema Club took to the stage.
With a huge roar from the waiting crowd Two Door started as they meant to go on, building on the electric atmosphere by playing their first four glee-inducing tracks almost back to back, with minimal crowd interaction in between (“Sleeps Alone”, “Undercover Martyn”, “Do You Want It All” and “This Is The Life”). At this point lead singer, Alex Trimble, addressed the crowd for the first time, humbly thanking the crowd for coming to their biggest UK show to date (which, incidentally, had sold out weeks in advance), and stating that while they were “super-excited to be here” they were also “shitting themselves”.
Next up was “Wake Up” from the latest album (“Beacon”), followed by “You Are Not Stubborn” and “Come Back Home” from the first album (“Tourist History”), and the crowd was partying so hard it began to feel like we were part of a big carnival (and actually, a huge conga procession would not have been out of place at all!). The lighting and laser show only served to heighten the carnival feel whilst the band ploughed through more material from the new album in the shape of “Beacon” and “Sun”. As the kick drum and spangly guitars of the intro to “Pyramid” began the lasers came into their own, trapping the smoke from the stage into a mesmerising, laser-lined pyramid. Then came “Ah! Oh! Ah! Ah! Oh!”, signalling the start of “I Can Talk”, and sending the crowd into a whooping frenzy.
I noticed that there was a slight dip in the dancing activities during “Costume Party”, although this could be because it was released as the B side to “I Can Talk” and it does not appear on their albums, so it’s possibly less well known. Nevertheless it’s a great track that continues their knack of producing jangly, grin inducing tunes. In any event, a singalong was next on the agenda, with Trimble asking the audience to fill in for one-time vocalist Valentina on “The World Is Watching”, and the crowd continuing this theme into “Next Year”, “Something Good Can Work” and “Handshake”.
After thanking the crowd again, the band launched into their final two tracks of the set (“Eat That Up It’s Good For You” and “It’s Too Late”) releasing a net full of large white balloons onto the dancing crowd below. The atmosphere was almost indescribable. The band disappeared offstage but the crowd continued to cheer, chase the balloons and party. Within moments they were back, and launched into “Someday” in a maze of lasers and balloons, followed by “Cigarettes In The Theatre”. The band then addressed the crowd once again, thanking them for a “truly life-changing, unforgettable experience”. And then, amid a plethora of showering streamers, they played the final track of the night, “What You Know”, to the elated party goers in front of them.
If I could give the entire gig 6 out of 5, I would. The support acts were great and really set the crowd up for the main event, Two Door Cinema Club completely outplayed themselves with an absolute sack load of party friendly tracks, and the atmosphere was electric and akin to being amid a carnival (helped by the balloons, lasers and streamers of course). The only thing missing was that conga procession.
My voice was shredded, my feet were throbbing, and I had that hangover feeling the next day even though I hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol. That is the sign of an exceptional gig!