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Chvrches and Still Corners @ Union Transfer.

June 25, 2013

ChvrchesGD03Text and images by Grace Dickinson.

On Sunday, Chvrches finished out their first U.S. headline tour to a welcoming crowd at Union Transfer.

“Normally, Sunday’s the night I watch TV at my parents’ house, so cheers to all of you for coming out,” said Martin Doherty, vocalist and synth-master.

ChvrchesGD02ChvrchesGD09Based in Glasgow, Scotland, it was Chvrches first time in Philadelphia and quite the crowd came out to see them despite them having yet to release a full-length album. They debuted their first electropop EP, Recover, in March, and are set to follow up with an album in September.

“I’ve heard you have a pretty good cheesesteak but the rest of what I’ve learned about Philadelphia is pretty much from the beginning of Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” joked lead singer Lauren Mayberry.

She didn’t think the cheesesteak would be a good decision before performing, which given her dainty size was probably the right choice. Mayberry hinted she’d have to try one later as she cat’s cradled her mic wire across her arms.

Working an electric keyboard, two synthesizers and a laptop computer, Chrvches brought a lot of plugged-in electronics to the stage. It left a lot of room for movement on stage, and while being trancey at times, set off a rhythmic nod of heads ChvrchesGD04across the crowd.

“For a three-person electronic band, I’m surprised how compelling they were on stage,” a new fan said to his friends on their way out.

As the guy and his friends all struggled to unlock from a packed rack of bikes, they unanimously agreed to come see Chrvches again when they return.

Still Corners opened the night, with singer Tessa Murray taking a moment to recall the London-based band’s last visit to Philly. It entailed a show at Voyeur, which Murray remembers as a funny one filled with free beer, hot dogs and a resulting inattentive audience.

“It’s really refreshing to be back, and this time with people actually listening,” said a grateful, model-esque Murray.

Their ambient, new wave music was synced to a moving backdrop of equally dreamy images, filled with soft-lit flowers and faded patterned colors. At the end, Murray voiced being sad that the tour was coming to a close.

While their tour together is ending, Chvrches will be back shortly. Doherty told the audience before leaving the stage, “Don’t be too sad. We’ll be back in this very building in September.”

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