Friday 6 July 2012

Churches, Art School, Glasgow, 5th July 2012

Last night I headed into town for what some were describing as 'the hottest gig in Glasgow since Franz Ferdinand'. It was certainly hot in the basement of the Art School - to sauna like proportions. The gig in question was the 'debut' gig by the band Churches.

There was a real sense of anticipation in the crowd in the build up to the band taking the stage at 9.30pm, quite incredible considering they have only made one song available online, they certainly have a lot more up their sleeves. You can check out 'Lies' via the bands soundcloud page. It has already amassed over 15,000 plays at the time of writing, largely thanks to being featured on The Guardian's New Band of the Day feature.

The band consist of Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and the pop pixie princess Lauren Mayberry. All have been in bands previously (Aerogramme, Twilight Sad and Blue Sky Archives) (or still are), quite how long they stay in them is another question all together.

Churches (brilliant name - why has no-one thought of that before) have clearly been hard at work in the studio and their management have clearly working contacts and a and r all over. The guestlist for the gig well outnumbered the amount of actual tickets on sale, this was a showcase.

Being a showcase, the band showed off their skills to the delight of the inquisitive crowd. The opening song was an absolute gem, total pop that Kylie would be delighted to snap up. The sound was crystal clear, the best I have heard in the Art School, the bands decision to hire the venue out the day before to perfect the sound certainly paid off. Lauren's vocals were excellent and she looked the part with glitter and facepaint down one side of her face, younger bloggers would probably say Marina and the Diamonds, I would say Ziggy Stardust.

Photo lifted from the Popcop's facebook page - thanks

I usually write a review after seeing a band. Truth be told that from the back of the crowd I could barely see a thing other than the bobbing of heads and the occasional glimpse of Lauren when she stepped up on to the monitors at the front.

The second song was also a belter, apologies for not knowing the names of them. The band, or Lauren, barely spoke on stage, communicating through their well crafted and polished pop. Lauren did thank everyone for coming and say 'we're not shit'. Which was a bit of an understatement. The lighting glimmered in time with the music, it wasn't just the music that was polished, it was the all round show and experience.

Influences - well pop music in all shapes and forms, from the pure pop of (modern) Kylie and her bank of songwriters and producers to the likes of Grimes and at times I heard a little bit of Liz Fraser and the Cocteau Twins in there.

pic lifted from twitter

I think I can safely say that I will be featuring Churches again on this blog and I am sure that you will hear a lot about them. 

5 things I like about Churches;

  1. The name - conjuring up images of people coming together, singing together and in this case; rejoicing in pop
  2. The sound - I love pop music in all shapes and forms. So do Churches. Last nights show highlighted that they have more than a few hit singles in the making. Soaring and epic synths and keyboards, this is pop made for the radio but with enough of a twist to appeal to the more left-field indie crowd as well. 
  3. Lauren Mayberry - a pixie pop princess in the making, looking good, sounding good and sassy with it. 
  4. The management - as a 'budding' manager myself I really admire the way the band and management have gone about this, building that sense of anticipation, keeping quite a bit back but releasing enough to gain interest and curiosity.
  5. They confidence - They pulled it off last night. It isn't easy by any manner of means to get people up from London and the Scottish music crowd eating out of your hand. Churches did that and they didn't let them down.


The Pop Cop said...

Spot-on review. Couldn't agree more, that first song especially was immense.

Iain Smith said...

Crackin' gig. The second photo above is by my girlfriend, Abigail Allsopp, if you fancy bungin' a credit on there.