ALBUM REVIEW: The Slow Readers Club – Live At O2 Apollo Manchester (Modern Sky UK)

The Slow Readers Club are a Manchester-based four-piece who specialise in dark and brooding indie-electro, and they could just be the best band you’ve probably never heard of.

Formed 10 years ago from the ashes of another Manchester band, Omerta, their music has been compared to the likes of Interpol, Editors, White Lies and The Killers, and although they might not be household names elsewhere, they regularly sell-out venues in their home city.

After two self-released albums they got their big breakthrough last year when their third, Build A Tower, reached No 18 in the UK charts.

After hammering the local gig circuit, playing just about every festival going and supporting the likes of James, Reverend And The Makers and Catfish And the Bottlemen, they’re now headliners in their own right.

The Slow Readers Club.

This live album was recorded at a sold-out hometown show, at the 3,500-capacity O2 Apollo, in December 2018. The 20-song set features selections from all three of their albums, and you can sense how happy they are to be on stage in front of their own as they put on the show of their lives.

Opening with Lunatic, the first track on Build A Tower, they move back and forth through their back catalogue, with frontman Aaron Starkie sounding humble and eternally grateful that so many people have come out to see them.

He announces during the set that he and the band (his brother Kurtis on guitar and backing vocals, James Ryan on bass and David Whitworth on drums) have at last reached the stage where they can give up their day jobs and concentrate fully on their music.

The Slow Readers Club. Pic: Paul Husband.

Afforded a heroes’ welcome from the off, they inspire real devotion from their fans, who sing every word sing songs like Supernatural back at them with gusto.

Debut single Sirens is just one example where they sound so much like Editors, with so much power and presence in their anthemic songs.

Songs from earlier in their career make it clear that the excellent Build A Fire wasn’t a one-off; Start Again, from second album Cavalcade, and the title track of that album sound massive, and Feet On Fire, from their self-titled debut album, is a driving slice of indie-rock.

The Slow Readers Club.

Another oldie, One More Minute, is dedicated to “all the people who’ve watched us from the start – all 20 of you”, and the show ends in style with I Saw A Ghost. But even that is topped by On The TV, which will sound fantastic when, in time, they ascend to their rightful place as festival headliners.

The Slow Readers Club are a band surely destined for much greater things. Buy this album, then tell your friends about them. They’re touring the UK in the next month. Catch them if you can. 8/10.

The Slow Readers Club’s winter 2019 tour dates
Gary Welford owner