The Slow Readers Club – Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK (25th May 2018)

Manchester electro-indie quarter The Slow Readers Club have been steadily making a name for themselves and picking up a devoted fanbase across the country. Off the back of their recently released third album Build a Tower, the Readers graced the stage at the Islington Assembly Hall for their biggest London gig so far.

Support came from the much-hyped South West England quartet October Drift, whose shoegaze-laced rock and infectious stage presence kicked the evening off to an energetic start. Songs from the several EPs and singles they have released so far was received very well by the gathering audience, and showed great potential that in some years’ time it might be them in the headline spot.

October Drift
Photo Credit: Pavel Kondov

The Slow Readers Club opened with ‘Lunatic’, the lead single off their new record – a dark, driving doom-pop song with nihilistic lyrics and a chorus that gets stuck in your head for days. They played to an audience with an average age a fair bit higher than that of the band members themselves, obviously finding much favour amongst people nostalgic for the kind of sound they have – somewhere in-between the electronic rhythms of New Order and the indie-hooks of Interpol, with a dash of LCD Soundsystem thrown in for good measure. Visibly inspired by Ian Curtis in penmanship and delivery, vocalist Aaron Starkie was an endearingly sparse bandleader, in his forte while singing the baritone hooks of SRC’s choruses, but quite shy in-between songs. There wasn’t much silence to fill anyways, as a “REAAAADEEEERS” chant would inevitably begin as soon as the song ended, delighting and embarrassing the band in equal parts.

Slow Readers Club
Photo Credit: Pavel Kondov

The Mancunians played most of their new record which was well received by the audience –  the main riff of ‘On The TV’ was instantly picked up for a prolonged audience chant, while album closer ‘Distant Memories’, a big-sounding ballad that signals a potential evolution in their sound, was the emotional climax of the set. Not left out were well-loved cuts from the first two albums such as ‘Sirens’, ‘Block Out The Sun’ or set-closer ‘Forever In Your Debt’, after which the Readers came offstage under well-deserved applause.

The Slow Readers Club delivered a solid show to a committed crowd of fans, proving their brand of dance-able electro-indie rock is perfectly suited to ever bigger venues – something they are more than capable to achieve off the back of the great Build a Tower record.

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