Gig review: Charlotte Church, Glasgow
Charlotte Church - Oran Mor, Glasgow
* * *
Charlotte Church’s chosen path has taken her from angelic choirgirl to gossip column fodder, pop starlet to chat show host, talent show judge to her latest reinvention as would-be experimental diva.
And quite a reinvention it is, entirely drawing a line under her previous albums in favour of a more esoteric blend of soaring vocal flights, dual drummer attack and hipster electronica which she and her band have dispatched in a series of EPs.
Church showed off her classical chops far more effectively with this musical incarnation than on her previous pop material, utilising her soprano range with an impressive fluency, while her fellow musicians created an immersive but also rather self-regarding soundtrack fusing vocal loops and echo with freeform post-rock playing, which almost made up in technical ability what it deliberately shunned in pop structure.
The closest thing to a memorable melody came in the shape of a heavy tribal dubstep version of Ultra Nate’s club classic Free.
A number of current chart darlings such as London Grammar are producing a similarly navel-gazing ambient electro-infused soundtrack with less of a risk element. Were this not a band fronted by Charlotte Church, tabloid person of interest, then there might be a fairer chance of wider acceptance – though she seemed to win over more fans than she alienated here.