At the Barclaycard Mercury Sessions...

Launched in 2009, the Barclaycard Mercury Sessions aim to celebrate live music.

Returning for a new series at London's Hospital Club last week (February 18th) the intimate setting held three very distinct performances.

Opening proceedings, Angel Haze rattled through a ferocious set with full backing band. The sound felt mature, fleshed out from the sparse, at times pained intimacy of her early cuts but retained the sheer personality which floods through her music.

Naturally, the set was heavy on debut full length 'Dirty Gold' but material from 2012 mixtape 'Classick' retains its potency.

CHVRCHES have by now become an arena act, with their grandiose synth-pop reaching new levels of grandeur. Stripping things back, the Glasgow trio complete a plaintive set, with Lauren Mayberry on typically charming form.

Bantering with the audience, the singer continually sips from a bottle of water to battle fatigue - not that you'd realise from her confident, careful performance.

Metronomy's new album 'Love Letters' is a wonderful, measured return and the Brighton group are readying a re-vamped live show for a lengthy British tour.

Clad in almost Butlin's attire (seriously, think a British seaside David Lynch movie and you'd be close) the band bring an air of gleefully English surrealism to proceedings.

Pausing to re-record an intro, Metronomy haven't lost that ramshackle air - yet this is a live show which is rapidly coming into its own.

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