CHVRCHES – Barrowland, 4/11/14
Is there a better pop band around just now than CHVRCHES? I’ll answer that one for you; no, there isn’t. The Glaswegian trio – featuring former Strathclyde student Lauren Mayberry – effortlessly combine 80’s synth-pop with more modern dubstep influences, with incredible songs to boot. The fact that this gig is the second of two sold out nights at the legendary Barrowland ballroom is testament to how much of an impact the band have made since forming in 2012, and the mix of the crowd shows how broad an appeal the band have, with the audience ranging from biker-type metalheads to teenagers in One Direction shirts.
Packing an impressive arsenal of absolute bangers and a massive light show (They had loads of lasers. I bloody love lasers.), CHVRCHES make it clear that they intend to put their stamp on the Barrowlands’ rich heritage, and do it in style. Opening with ‘We Sink’ and single ‘Lies’ is an inspired move, one that would surely result in the Barrowlands descending into absolute mayhem. Sadly, it doesn’t, and the crowd remains mostly flat, except from the first couple of rows. It was to be expected though; a band with such a broad mainstream appeal would surely attract the mums and dads as well as more die-hard fans, and they don’t seem to appreciate the frankly ridiculous shapes being thrown by the younger members of the audience – myself included.
However, it doesn’t appear to phase the band, who plough through ‘Gun’ and ‘Night Sky’ with incredible energy, with Lauren Mayberry sounding almost album perfect. In fact, the energy rarely lets up; songs like ‘Science/Visions’ and ‘Recover’ are pure musical euphoria, and the two new songs ‘Dead Air’ and ‘Get Away’ show huge amounts of promise for the band’s second album. The energy dwindles slightly for ‘Tether’, but it doesn’t take anything away from the show, and if anything is a welcome change of pace, a point where people can gather their shit before losing it again for set closer ‘The Mother We Share’. However, come the encore, a large portion of the crowd have left, and playing ‘You Caught the Light’ – for me, an album low point – doesn’t help their cause.
Boring crowd aside, CHVRCHES have certainly made their mark tonight. With only one album under their belt, it’s clear that this band are going to be absolutely massive, and I for one can’t wait to see what they do next. Maybe the crowds in larger venues will be more appreciative of my incredible dance moves.