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Live: Chvrches - Barrowland, Glasgow


Scottish band Chvrches’ latest tour includes just one stop in their home country at Glasgow’s very own Barrowland. Looking around the sold out venue, there are friends, and friends of friends, all running into each other in the old dance hall. There’s a reason Barrowland is often dubbed one of the greatest live music venues, as it’s Glasgow’s veteran, standing since 1934 and hosting prolific artists on its stage. So whilst it’s certainly not shiny and new, it gets the job done damn well.

It makes sense really, seeing as this show was an incredibly Glaswegian affair, packed with nostalgia and excitement for Chvrches. The first bit of chat we get is from Martin Doherty, simply saying, “Wow, it’s fucking good to be home”.  It’s understandable since their swift success, before their debut album ‘The Bones of What You Believe’ was even complete, meant that they’ve spent a lot of time touring overseas, without their home comforts.  Lead singer Lauren Mayberry gets misty eyed at Glasgow memories as she recalls the first gig she came to in the city, Jimmy Eat World, in the very same venue they were stood in. It must be a big moment for them to be on a stage so iconic, in the city they know so well. She did also recall getting kicked in the head in a mosh pit at said gig but hey, it’s Glasgow. Martin went on to, quite touchingly, express how much it meant for them play there too, and there was a sense of pride in the room for our new favourite Scottish band.

Speaking of Martin Doherty, the synth-playing ball of energy, his enthusiasm was astounding. Taking centre stage for ‘Under The Tide’, swapping with Lauren for lead vocals, he can only be described as going fucking mental. He jumped around the stage like a crazy person, turning the album track into one of the most popular songs of the night, with the audience cheering him on long after he finished. The man has a got some interesting moves and it’s a Chvrches highlight, for sure. Singles ‘Recover’ and ‘The Mother We Share’ received a similarly overwhelming reaction from the audience, transforming it into a rowdy show with a great atmosphere.

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There are some things that have just become synonymous with Chvrches, and their backdrop of flashing lights is one of them. Multi-coloured sparks that go hand in hand with the impact of every beat making their shows come alive. These eye-shattering lights matched the vigour of the band, which gradually built throughout the night.

One of the best things about seeing Chvrches live though, is how much they care. They don’t have that arrogant showman/womanship that some bands rely on, but they are visibly passionate about getting it all perfect for their avid following. When the trio bid their goodbyes, a previously quiet Iain Cook reiterated the importance of this show for them, and it’s safe to say they nailed it.

Sylvie Metcalfe