It’s a beautiful Sunday evening in Glasgow’s East End and for the second time this weekend, over 2000 people have packed into a sold out Barrowland Ballroom for legendary Glasgow synth pop trio CHVRCHES. Having just emerged from a monumental global supporting tour with Coldplay, CHVRCHES returned to their grassroots last week with an intimate 4 date mini tour which would mark the retirement of the 2021 album Screen Violence Era. With support coming from Discovery Music favourites and emerging Glasgow band Dead Pony, gig goers were in for a real musical treat.
Kicking off with an omniscient sound of warning sirens the band are quickly joined on stage by frontwoman Anna Shields who takes ownership of the wide stage. Petite in stature compared to her male band mates, Anna steals the spotlight with her endearing yet mighty vocals and confident delivery. The momentum doesn’t let down as they move on to their new single MK Nothing which punches just as hard live as it does recorded. Despite the focal point being singer Anna, Dead Pony are very much a full band experience. With a robust rhythm section from bassist Liam Adams and drummer Euan Lyons alongside the brutally intense riffs delivered by guitarist Blair Crichton, Dead Pony are a force to be reckoned with.
It’s sweltering in Glasgow tonight (or 23°C if you’re not from around here) so you can only imagine what 2000 people cramped into an old non air conditioned Barrowlands must feel like. It’s ridiculously sweaty in here so there is a huge sigh of relief when the stage blackens and the electrifying light show kicks in. The intensity in the room is at a peak. After a teasing introduction, CHVRCHES finally made their stage entrance.
The trio, Lauren Mayberry, Ian Cook and Martin Doherty are joined by the fourth unofficial band member Jonny Scott on the drums and all four are captivating from the start. I don’t think I have ever witnessed that level of skill and tight synchronization from a live electro band before. This is true instrumentation on show and the ability the guys have to turn their hand from keys to guitar to bass and back to the mix is outstanding. Lauren is a beautiful performer Her unique vocals are flawlessly delivered with every song without missing a note or a beat. And then there’s that twirl – Lauren’s trademark twirl is so hypnotising that after an epic 90 minute set I am utterly obsessed.
Fan favourite The Mother We Share has the place erupting with passion, giving the Barrowlands bouncy floorboards a hefty workout. The finale of Clearest Blue climaxes with a blood splattered Lauren thanking her fans for what was an iconic bucket list moment. Not just for fans but as a Glasgow band themselves this is an equally exhilarating experience for CHVRCHES. Two back to back sell out nights at the city’s most legendary ballroom is a lot to take in, even for a band who have sold out an OVO Hydro before. The team unite for a crowd photo which captures the moment forever. It’s an incredible experience and one which will stick as a pure euphoria moment in time.