Live review: Grimes at The Arches, 29/8/12

It’s only been three months since Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, last visited Glasgow and played to a packed out Berkeley Suite, an already you notice a difference in the crowd.


The difference is this girl has got really popular, rows of kids hog the barrier from doors and The Arches is just as packed as the Berkeley Suite was and the general masses outweigh the hipsters from May.

With a danger of repeating myself from that show Grimes showcases her ethereal dreamy electro pop with the same care and sheer enjoyment as she did back then.

Tonight though she seems to have a freedom to be more experimental with her set, playing around with tracks delightfully with help from Majical Cloudz’s Devon Welsh.

In May the live set may not have been quite down, it was noticeably short and to Boucher’s own admission limited due to a new set up, but that is gone, new tracks are in and awkward apologies for running out of tracks are out.

Tonight her set seems complete, it features most, if not all, of the tracks from her wonderful debut album Visions, released earlier this year, and those now familiar lush sounding pop gems form highlight after highlight for these new fans.

Performing under an illuminated hot dog stand Boucher seems up for it all as Welsh and her own dancer, performing unique if a bit odd moves under masses of hair, provide visual distraction perhaps missing from her earlier festival sets this summer.

Powerful visuals projected behind Boucher enhance this live set way beyond what is was three months ago, and the framing of the Canadian 24 year old under the words ‘HOT DOGS’ provides a powerful, kitschy image.

The sign itself is not a feature of the tour, it’s something Grimes had found kicking about The Arches, but it seems a success and an experiment well worth toying with in future shows if the pitfalls of becoming too gimmicky are avoided.

Grimes is a ball of energy and her delightful mix of dance floor teasing beats and melodic pop beauty provide yet again to be a delight.

This is girl with a wealth of talent, a quirky unique sound and a cute face to boot, she is definitely one we look forward to hearing and seeing more from although she’ll probably playing to a bigger audience next time around.

If the Berkeley Suite show was the statement that she’s here then this one is the proof, Grimes’ sound is filled with pure pop joy that is difficult not to get drawn into and it leaves an ever growing audience with a tune stuck in their head and a smile plastered on their face.

More photos (including support Majical Cloudz and Becoming Real)

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Debbie McCuish


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