With a reputation for every song, on every album, remaining original, The Slow Readers Club has carved out a niche as musicians’ musicians.
Creative mixtures of instrumentation, narrative themes and epic synths scaled into three or four-minute hook-ridden, accessible pop tunes have combined to create a reputation for interesting and thought-provoking music – all of which is particularly respectful given their still relative youth (eight years old and four albums in).
Central to this reputation is a history of delivering consistently high standard, intense, live shows – a feat which must play as both a help and hindrance to the band. Tonight, given the reaction of the Riverside crowd, they most certainly live up to this reputation.
Opening with ‘Lunatic’ – itself the first track on new album ‘Build a Tower’ – The Slow Readers Club flies out of the traps in a style that comes to benchmark this evening. Feet moving, chorus singing, arms a lofting synth playing brings an element of euphoria to a bassline which you can’t help but move to, and lyrics which combine social exploration with personal confession.
“The Slow Readers Club has carved out a niche as musicians’ musicians”
An intellectual band with an emphasis on crowd interaction and musical proficiency, The Slow Readers Club never shy away from opportunities to connect with their audience. In a physical form, this is demonstrated through all four members joining in the dancing and opportunities to smile, and through frontman Aron Starkie who takes each chance he can find to stand at the end of the stage and make physical contact with the crowd.
Tonight’s highlights are those which offer an opportunity for both crowd interaction as well as showcasing their musical proficiencies.
‘Lunatic’, with its Bronski Beat falsetto, shines, as does new piece ‘Supernatural’ with its pulsating Gary Numan driven synth work and ‘Through the Shadows’ in its ability to demonstrate Starkie’s vocal range, (Kurtis) Starkie’s guitar work and Jim Ryan’s bass tour de force.
Setting off impromptu crowd chanting and nonstop dancing, The Slow Readers Club clearly lived up to their reputation.