Chvrches at the Barrowlands: Review

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Roisin McCarthy

This is the first time I have ventured into the Barrowlands Ballroom. It’s worthwhile saying to the few who have yet to – as I’m presuming it’s eventually unimaginable not to have at least once, marched under the neon lights of the ‘Barrowland’ slogan and seen a gig in a venue where the ceiling is covered in glow in the dark stars – you should go. Chvrches fit in perfectly, which makes a lot of sense seeing as Glasgow is their hometown. Front singer Lauren Mayberry reveals to the crowd that this was one of the first venues Chvrches performed in.  A remark met with raucous cheers from an audience who were welcoming back a Glaswegian band that has been touring internationally for the past two years.

This is a trio who have seen their most recent album The Bones Of What You Believe sprint through the charts both here and in the US whilst the band itself has gained critical acclaim almost from the word go, with the BBC listing them in it’s top five list of most promising new musical talent in 2013.

The night is kicked off with We Sink, a frenzy of synthesized sound as front singer Lauren Mayberry’s unwavering voice steers the melody. Each record blasted out is accompanied by a barrage of psychedelic laser lights that transform Barrowland into some kind of mini festival arena. It is a sight to behold, when a Monday night audience of loyal chvrch goers are transformed from wearisome individuals with a week of work ahead to unabashedly jumping up and down (I happen to be arphysical evidence of this, coming away with a knock to the head as one impassioned dancer swirled into me…or potentially it was me doing the swirling). Lungs and Lies followed with their synesthetic beats succeeding in a stripped back rawness whilst holding onto the catchy electro-pop style. The reception is just as loud as the deafening records, and Mayberry’s enthusiasm is infectious as she spins her microphone, chatting and joking with the crowd and her band mates between each track.

Science and Visions came as a surprising highlight with the trance like melodies and eye watering bass creating an unbeatable atmosphere. Doherty took to center stage for Under The Tide and did not disappoint. His mental  punk-rock dancing and strong vocals heralded out over the mesh of synth and bass. The trio’s enthusiasm is undeniable: an impressive feat to maintain after such a long time touring. Mother We Share proved to be a triumphant finale, booming over the crowd as everyone yelled out the lyrics and the fusion of laser lights whipped around the room turning us all slightly insane.

This is just the beginning for Chvches. I am sure of that.


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