Sunday, March 20, 2022

Chvrches dazzle at Manchester’s O2 Apollo, 19/03/2022

Synonymous with infectious synth beats, hypnotic vocals, and genre-defying cuts, Chvrches have been redefining what it means to be an ‘alternative’ rock band since the early 2010s. Hailing from Scotland, the electro-pop outfit are revered for their unique stylings and interrogations into modern life as they tackle themes of misogyny on their latest full-length record.

Having recently won the NME award for best song by a UK band in their collaboration with The Cure’s Robert Smith on ‘How Not To Drown’, the trio have been touring the UK in support of their fourth album ‘Screen Violence’.

Chvrches are: Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty, and Iain Cook.

On the last night of their tour, Chvrches took to the stage at Manchester’s O2 Apollo. Packed with plentiful outfit changes, audience interactions (and the odd breaking up of a scuffle), Chvrches ended their ‘Screen Violence’ era with a bang.

Opening with the lead single from ‘Screen Violence’, ‘He Said She Said’ tackles narratives of misogyny and mental health in a stand against ‘man-splaining’ and having to live up to the expectations of men. Talking on the track with Rolling Stone, Mayberry divulged, “All the verse lines are tongue-in-cheek or paraphrased versions of things that have actually been said to me by men in my life. Being a woman is f*cking exhausting and it felt better to scream it into a pop song than scream it into the void.” And that’s exactly what the trio was met with. Fans belted lyrics back at Mayberry, as she reflected on the experiences felt by women in the music industry, “He said "you need to be fed" / "But keep an eye on your waistline" and / "Look good but don't be obsessed"”.

Chvrches kept the setlist perfectly balanced, delivering a handful of tracks old and new to appease fans from all walks of life in a stellar amalgamation of the best of what the band have to offer. Moving through the synth-heavy ‘Forever’, and the anti-love-song ‘Leave A Trace’, the trio offer renditions of latest cuts ‘California’ and ‘Violent Delights’. The latter of the two takes a deep dive into Mayberry’s psyche from nightmares she experienced on tour, and was met with adoration by the sold-out Apollo. Lauren hopped off stage for a swift outfit change (out of an astonishing glittery-red fit) before bounding back to the pounding synth beats of ‘How Not To Drown’.

‘Science/Visions’ was greeted with ample approval from the crowd, as the band took a delve into their back catalogue with the ninth track from their debut LP.

The rest of the set delicately flit between the band’s records, with debut cuts ‘Night Sky’ and ‘Recover’, and the third album’s ‘Miracle’, Chvrches well and truly covered all bases. After delivering a fourteen-track set, they retreated from the stage after the stellar performance of ‘Never Say Die’, before swiftly taking a U-turn.

Returning to the stage with a horror-style entrance, with the previously gleaming ‘Final Girl’ shirt now spilled with blood, which also covered her arms, Lauren treated the crowd to a trio-encore, foremost consisting of ‘Asking For A Friend’, and fan favourite ‘The Mother We Share’.

Rounding off the night with ‘Clearest Blue’, Chvrches bid farewell to their loyal fans before the blinding lights switched back on and a night to remember came to a swift end.



‘He Said She Said’


‘Leave a Trace’


‘How Not To Drown’

‘Violent Delights’


‘Good Girls’

‘Bury It’


‘Night Sky’

‘Final Girl’


‘Never Say Die’


‘Asking for a Friend’

‘The Mother We Share’

‘Clearest Blue’


Image: 'Screen Violence' promo poster

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