The Slow Readers Club | O2 Forum Kentish Town | 6 May 2016
It sounds like the plot of a feel-good Hollywood movie: unsigned band, called up to the big leagues by resurgent indie legends, win over audiences’ hearts. But for The Slow Readers Club it’s their reality.
The Manchester quartet have been invited to support James on an extensive national tour that will see them play the largest venues of their career – rooms like Brixton Academy, Manchester Arena, and, tonight, The Kentish Town Forum. If they’re at all nervous, they don’t let on.
Instead they dive headlong into ‘Fool For Your Philosophy’ – an anthem big on David Whitworth’s metronomic drumming, a jangly bassline, angular guitar riffs, moody synth textures, and earnest vocals – that sets the tone for a stellar 10-song set. ‘Sirens’, the first of two offerings from their self-titled debut, is an unstoppable march. ‘Start Again’ shows off their ability to write choruses huge enough to fill a room of this size, before the restrained ‘Days Like This Will Break Your Heart’ and tender ‘Don’t Mind’ give Aaron Starkie the chance to show off a falsetto as impressive as his Ian Curtis baritone.
Led by James Ryan’s ominous bassline, the brooding ‘Forever In Your Debt’ injects ragged emotion into the perfectly constructed music, ‘Plant The Seed’ has the vocals shift seamlessly between light and shade while Kurtis Starkie’s guitar shimmers throughout, and the slow burning electro-tinged anthem ‘Know The Day Will Come’ is the perfect conclusion to a set that’s obviously wowed the Forum crowd.
But it’s ‘I Saw A Ghost’ that’s the real revelation.A perfect slice of indie rock that, like much of their second album ‘Cavalcade’ has drawn inevitable comparisons to Interpol and The Killers, tonight the song sounds like nobody else but a band that have come into their own. Those four minutes are so perfect, they couldn’t even have been scripted in Hollywood.