This The Slow Readers Club article was written by Niall Webster, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Hazel Webster. Photographs by Niall Webster.
Gorilla is a relatively new venue on Whitworth Street West, Manchester. Situated under the railway, nestled within the arches is a bar, restaurant and live venue which was to be the location of a live event showcasing some of the best that the North West Indie music scene has to offer.
First up, The Etches are a five piece band who came together in Liverpool. They have had a number of releases which have caught the attention of the likes of XFM, NME and Q Magazine. Their music has a dark quality, but is quite engaging.
They started by playing ‘Ice Cream Dream Machine’, one of their early tracks, then continued by performing a track from their recently released EP ‘Wall of Sleep’. Unfortunately for them, as the first act they were playing to a half empty room, but that did not stop them rocking the gathering crowd, who seemed instantly captivated and they held their attention throughout the rest of the set. To finish off, they played ‘Do Nothing’, the single from ‘Wall of Sleep’, which was released in November.
Second up were Barron, a relatively young band which formed as recently as the summer of 2014 after the members met at Manchester University. Despite their short time together they have managed to produce an excellent catalogue of original tracks with diverse influences spanning at least two decades.
The regular band members, who were joined on stage for this performance by two violins and a double bass, are known for their single ‘Waiting For’. Alex Barron, vocalist and keyboard player, is a talented showman, portraying the emotions of each track perfectly, including (and don’t ask how he did it) playing and singing with his head down on the keyboard, during a more sombre and angsty part of the performance.
As the venue filled to capacity it was time for the third act of the evening, Delamere. The buzz of the swelling crowd drove the band on to perform an uncompromising and well delivered set which included mainly original material, with a cover thrown in as a rabble rouser.
They opened their set with a rendition of ‘Regress’ a track taken from their EP ‘Bright Young Things’, which has been championed throughout the industry, including on the BBC Music website. This was followed by the title track from the EP ‘Bright Young Things’. The mix of indie and electronica worked well, and they even gave ‘Never Too Much’ by Luther Vandross the Delamere treatment, much to the audiences pleasure as they danced enthusiastically. They finished their set with ‘Betty Boop’. As the band received the applause of the audience they were already making way for the main event.
Then it was time for The Slow Readers Club, and boy you could tell, the crowd shifted forwards as Aaron, Kurtis, James and David took to the stage, a Manchester band on a Manchester stage. Even before they started playing you could see them feeding of the energy being generated, making the most of the good old home team advantage. Similar to the other bands featured on the night, The Slow Readers Club are known for their mix of Indie and Electronica, which can and does shift from dark and angry to ballad-like throughout the set.
They opened with the title track from their latest album ‘Cavalcade’ which was enthusiastically received by the crowd, following this they continued to play tracks from both their first and second albums.
The stand out track had to be ‘Plant The Seed’, which had an 80s vibe with a 21st century twist. The Slow Readers Club have been compared to the likes of The Killers and Interpol but that pigeon holes them too tightly. When listening to them, one track would be reminiscent of the 80s New Romantic scene, followed by an Electronic driven track in the ilk of Gary Numan, before launching into a darker sound which brings to mind Morrissey and The Smiths. For one band to be able to achieve all that and yet keep its own identity, is outstanding.
Overall it was an amazing evening, with excellent performances by some promising up and coming talent, talent that would benefit greatly from the exposure nights like this can provide. An enjoyable evening at Gorilla, with an inspired line up of acts whom complimented each other really well.