Friday, 30 May 2014

The Slow Readers Club - Manchester Roadhouse - 17th May 2014


Rounding off their tour in style with a headline gig at The Roadhouse, our good friend Stuart Ralston made the trip down from Scotland again to catch up with one of Manchester's finest.


Before the gig, punters at The Roadhouse are raving about The Slow Readers Club. Their fans don't like them, they love them. Opening as always with the 3 minute power pop - Northern Soul tinged Sirens, the crowd are instantly elated. Sirens is their trademark set opener and immediately the band are up and running with their reflective and soaring melodies.

The Slow Readers Club are clearly influenced by their Manchester heritage with touches of The Smiths and most notably Joy Division to their sound. Clever, heartfelt lyrics from Aaron Starkie set to a musical sound-scape from brother Kurtis' sharp guitar sound and an incredible rhythm section from new(ish) drummer David Whitworth and Omerta alumni James Ryan on a pounding, sometimes menacing bass.

The Slow Readers Club set almost reads and sounds like a “greatest hits” or a “best of” set, featuring all of their singles to date and showcasing show new songs from their much anticipated second LP due in November. Each and every song is greeted with cheers from their adoring fan base. Their new songs, such as Grace of God and Fool For Your Philosophy don't sound like a work in progress but are already fully finished classics.

This is my third trip down to catch The Slow Readers Club in the past 3 months. I have witnessed some great gigs both in Manchester and in Leeds recently, and by all accounts missed some stunning shows at Manchester Central Library and London Water Rats. They are surely destined for big things. The have a back catalogue other bands would kill for and their loyal, dedicated fan base is growing all the time. As I stand and watch, I vow to return and see them in action again soon.

Cathy Brooks from Dub Sex is the latest in a line of Manchester bassists to be suitably impressed by them and having caught them at a stunning Night and Day gig in March is back for more again tonight. Feet on Fire from the first album sounds as fresh and storming as ever, as does Block Out The Sun.

There are no low points in the 40 minute set but stand out tracks are the B-side from last year, Days Like This will Break Your Heart and the stunning new single, available now on digital download, Start Again, which closed the set tonight. Despite cries for an encore, the band ran out of time. Yet again, The Slow Readers Club delivered an impressive set and it won't be too long before I return to Manchester to see them again.

The Slow Readers Club played: Sirens, Grace of God, Days Like This Will Break Your Heart, Lost Boys, Fool For Your Philosophy, Don't Mind, Feet on Fire, Forever In Your Debt, Block Out The Sun, and Start Again. They didn't have time to play the encore of One More Minute.

The Slow Readers Club return to live action at The Blackthorn Music Festival on July 26th . See www.blackthornmusicfestival.co.uk for more details.


The second album will be preceded by the single Don't Mind later in the year. Their début album is available from their website www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk and current Start Again is available now on iTunes and Amazon.
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