Gig review: Chvrches, Glasgow

Chvrches: Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry
Chvrches: Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry
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“This is a classic Glasgow show,” noted Martin Docherty, one third of Glasgow’s newest big things, Chvrches, referring to the ease with which he, fellow keyboard player Iain Cook and singer Lauren Mayberry appeared to be bouncing possibly nervous self-deprecation off one another and their audience.

Chvrches - ABC, Glasgow

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“This bit doesn’t work in other countries,” came back Mayberry, the suggestion of both relief at being home and wonder at how tightly packed the ABC was with new fans fresh in her voice.

As they admitted, their rise has been unprecedentedly rapid, up to the point of recent top ten album The Bones of What You Believe and this largest headline tour yet. Their stage set is minimal, just two flying-V-shaped keyboard podia and Mayberry’s mic stand, and the sense was that throwing themselves into dancing came naturally for none of them. In which case, a striking bank of strobe and spotlights behind the trio covered both the bare space around them and some game but unco-ordinated moves.

Stagecraft aside, however, their music was recreated with faithful if crunchingly high-volume precision, and it’s in their typical convergence of crystalline synthesiser anthems and Mayberry’s sweet but confident and decidedly human vocal that their real success lies. At barely longer than an hour, the set was dense with joyfully remarkable music, including Gun, Recover, the irresistible The Mother We Share and a cover of Whitney Houston’s It’s Not Right But It’s Okay which sounded utterly natural in their own style.