Live Review

CHVRCHES, The Arches, Glasgow

The band sound massive. A hefty throbbing pulse of beats and synths runs through almost every song.

To witness CHVRCHES’ biggest headline show to date, in their home city of Glasgow, is to experience a kind of perfect sonic alchemy. With all the dynamic and vigour of an anthemic rock concert combined with some of the best electronic pop melodies and hooks you’re ever likely to hear, the trio have swiftly grown in to an arresting live proposition. They are yet to release a physical single, but here tonight, every song is met with a rapturous reception. Something special is happening.

It’s clearly a thrill for the band to be playing The Arches, an underground lair bristling with energy that’s something of an iconic venue in the city. Vocalist Lauren Mayberry is almost aghast with delight as she thanks the crowd for making the show a legitimate sell-out. The threesome cleverly foster that collective bond between band and audience that makes it a closely intimate affair, each bouncing off the other.

From the first booming drum beats of ‘Lies’, it is clear that CHVRCHES’ live show has been beefed up to another level; a startling light show gives the performance a sensory power that stimulates throughout. More importantly, though, the band sound massive. A hefty throbbing pulse of beats and synths runs through almost every song.

The joyous, twinkling melodies of ‘Lungs’ and ‘We Sink In’ may immediately stand out, but it’s a number of deeper and darker songs which really excel. ‘Science/Vision’ is the best of these, a startling piece of foreboding, intense, techno, the enveloping red hue of the lights a fitting companion to the music’s dystopian grandeur.

The addition of a new song with lead vocals from keyboardist Martin provides a welcome change of dynamic before the final one-two punch of the band’s singles ‘Recover’ - from the forthcoming EP of the same name - and ‘The Mother We Share’, the latter providing a suitably stirring and slightly emotional moment for a band who are becoming ever more assured and compelling with every performance.

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