(Christie Goodwin via link)
Chvrches can do no wrong and having watched them grow over the last few years I thought I'd seen them peak at an excellent Alexandra Palace gig last year. Soon after they announced two special UK gigs; the first in London at the Albert Hall and the second at the Hydro in their hometown of Glasgow. I managed to get some tickets for the first, and with it selling out very quickly I knew we were in for something special.
The support came from Shura who sounded like Madonna and looked like Kurt Cobain; we weren't really feeling her set so retreated to the bar.
Chvrches however did not disappoint, with a rock solid set from start to finish playing most of their current album and some of the stronger tracks from their first. As with the Ally Pally show Lauren has learnt to dominate the stage running around almost as much as Axl Rose did at Wembley. A couple of mini stages allowed her to tower that little bit more over the crowd; a simple prop that works well. Ian now spends some time away from the keyboards, bringing a guitar to the front left of the stage for a number of the tracks. Martin is still a little constrained but does sing lead on a couple of songs and continues to own the floor during Under the Tide with the best dancing since Keith from The Prodigy.
The final track "The Clearest Blue" is a piece of electro-pop perfection with a nice gradual build up bringing the entire Albert Hall to their feet and a near rave experience as the beats kick in. Having discovered how hard it is to dance from the higher floors we're fortunate nobody fell in tonight!
The encore was the too slow for me undertow and their anthem Mother We Share, which had us all singing along and leaving us happy but wishing for more.
It's worth mentioning that this was my first time on the floor of the RAH and it's amazing. The floor is nice and springy, it feels quite small compared to the view from the seats and we had a great crowd. I even had a great view and didn't encounter Mr Tall Man, as usually happens. The soundsystem was stunning too although from the bar the bass sounded like it was ripping the venue apart. I doubt we'll ever see Leftfield here.