26th March | Fleece
Photos: Lee Ramsey
The last year has seen a meteoric rise in popularity for Manchester indie electro band, The Slow Readers Club. The release of their third album Build a Tower was a huge success, debuting at number eighteen in the UK album chart, projecting them into the mainstream and firmly to the forefront of the UK indie scene.
After requests by fans around the country to play more shows, The Slow Readers Club have embarked on their biggest tour to date, visiting venues across the UK and Europe, including a return to Bristol with a show at much-beloved venue, The Fleece. As someone who admittedly came late to the party, it was obvious from the size of the crowd and their response to the set that I had missed out on a real movement that has built around the band.
It was particularly following their support slot on James’ 2016 tour that their fan base really began to grow. The four-piece’s recent success proves that grassroots support from fans, as well as playing a lot of positively-received gigs well and truly pays off, particularly when bands do not receive the push and radio play that they might deserve.
First up was support act, Alice Jemima who warmed up the crowd with her laid-back and atmospheric electro-pop. Alice will be returning to Bristol in June, supporting Sophie Ellis-Bextor at St George’s Hall.
As The Slow Readers Club took to the stage, the response from the crowd promised immediately that this would be an excellent night. Their moody indie electro has been compared to the likes of Interpol, Depeche Mode and The National. The band treated us to a mixture of old and newer tracks from all three of their albums, and highlights included ‘On the TV’, ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Lunatic’. The retro, ambient 80s-influenced sound reminded me in parts of fellow Manchester bands, New Order and newcomers Pale Waves.This was also reflected by the wide range of ages represented in the crowd.
Lead singer, Aaron Starkie was clearly appreciative of the support his band has received, and had an excellent rapport with the crowd throughout the gig, chatting between songs and thanking fans for coming out. While the music clearly resonated with the band’s fans, for this reviewer, I could have done with a bit more variety.
I always enjoy looking at the posters on the wall of The Fleece of legendary bands that have played there in the past, and after the success of this show and their growing popularity it would not surprise me if The Slow Readers Club are added to that display in the very near future.
See the video for ‘On The TV’ here: