Gig review: Chvrches, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Chvrches. Picture: Danny Clinch
Chvrches. Picture: Danny Clinch
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As Chvrches tiny dynamo frontwoman Lauren Mayberry pointed out, the three members of this band have played many gigs in their native Glasgow over the years as members of more leftfield acts – one of which, The Twilight Sad, provided the main support set of the evening – before graduating to the city’s biggest arena as an overtly pop proposition.

Chvrches | Rating: *** | SSE Hydro, Glasgow

You can sense the significance for the group, who delivered a big show fitting for this big deal.

Iain Cook and Martin Doherty were easily able to fill the space with their armoury of throbbing synth hooks, while Mayberry sprinted and birled across the stage, leaping on and off monitors, as if determined not to stagnate. A stylish LED light show completed the arena presentation.

Arguably, however, it was the catchy tunes which really consumed the room. Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye is full of them. Mayberry was playfully booed when she mentioned her one previous trip to the Hydro, to see Taylor Swift, but the perky Bury It is not so far from Swift’s born-again pop territory.

Empty Threat was a bold, unapologetic slice of stylised retro power pop, its 80s credentials boosted by Mayberry’s bashing on a set of syndrums. Science/Visions also stood out, with its cool Teutonic synths, Moroder disco pulse and solemn chanted backing vocals.

Doherty fronted a couple of numbers and threw some moves of his own, while Mayberry was still fizzing with energy at the clubby climax of Clearest Blue.

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