It’s without doubt that 2017 has been a phenomenal year for The Slow Readers Club and one has to what does 2018 have in store for the band?
So much ground has been covered by the band, we couldn’t let 2017 go without a catch up with the bands front man Aaron Starkie as we reflect on the past 12 months.
(JPD) The last time we spoke we discussed labels, being signed, the approaches you’ve had and we said, 2017 will be you year…. 2018 is around the corner, you’ve played some huge UK dates and the band signed to Modern Sky…. What a cracking 12 months….?
(AARON) Yeah it’s been a fantastic year for the band, Lunatic has been getting a decent amount of radio play and we sold out every date on our UK tour. To be selling out venues like The Garage in London, King Tuts in Glasgow, Rescue Rooms in Notts and Albert Hall in our home town is pretty mind blowing.
And the shows are getting better every time in terms of our performance and the energy from crowd, feels like we are building something special. On top of that we’ve had some great support slots with James, The Charlatans and The Jesus and Mary Chain. James in particular have been amazing to us over the past few years and helped give us an audience all over the UK. Our last live date of 2018 was a surprise appearance at James charity show at Albert Hall, we played an acoustic set to kick off the night and then later I joined James on stage for Sometimes, I’ve watched them play that tune from the wings so many times and its always a special moment. To be part of that at the Albert Hall was a real honour.
(JPD) I’ve been following the progress of your latest single ‘Lunatic’. Naturally it’s been well received by fans however it’s been getting air play and attention from the likes of Steve Lamacq too…
(AARON) Yeah Steve Lamacq has played a good few times added us to his recommends playlist. Chris Hawkins has been a long time champion of our music at 6 Music too. It was also picked up by John Kennedy and Gordon Smart at Radio X which is great. Plus Nat and Michelle at BBC Introducing in Manchester.
XS Manchester have been the ones to get behind it the most though we are played by them a few times a day which is what we need to really break through. We recently did an interview with Clint Boon too who has been into us since way back in the Omertà (mine and James previous band) days.
(JPD) With fans traveling pretty far from your home town to go to venues that are also new to the band – it must be quite a special feeling?
(AARON) Yeah we have a good few fans maybe 20 or 30 that come to every show on the tour! It’s pretty crazy that, we are on first name terms with most of them now I think as we always come out and say hello after gigs. It’s almost like having your family out there watching in the first few rows. There is also a fan page on facebook in addition to the main facebook page where we pop in and chat with the fans, we have quite a close relationship which I guess is pretty unusual but we want them to know that they are massively appriciated. Our fans have played a big part in growing our audience, telling their mates about us, sharing stuff online. You can feel that they want us to be massive which is good because we want that too ha 🙂
(JPD) You’ve played the Ritz and Albert Hall now as headline shows, both sold out. Which was the highlight and are there any other local venues you’d like to play?
(AARON) I remember when we had sold out Gorilla back in 2015 and toward the end of the show James turned to me and said ‘what ever happens mate we will always have this’ obviously we hoped we would go on and do bigger and bigger gigs but there was a time when even Gorilla felt like it was out of reach.
A year later we had sold out The Ritz and then it felt like we had arrived, I don’t think there has been an unsigned band that’s sold that place out. The atmosphere was electric you could feel the energy from the crowd. Albert Hall topped that though, with another year of touring and festivals under our belts our stage show has got better and our connection with the fans. The noise from the fans at Albert Hall was on another level, we are at the point now where we believe anything is possible.
(JPD) Whats been your 2017 highlights?
(AARON) Our headline show at Albert Hall, supporting James at Castlefield Bowl, at Festival No6 we played 2 stages, first was Tim Peaks (Tim Burgess stage) and the second was a performance with the Joe Duddell and the No6 Ensemble in the Town Hall – it was amazing to hear Joe’s arrangements for our tunes. Dot to Dot Festival was a stand out one too, it was an emotional one in Manchester as it was a few days after the Arena bombing.
Playing the Main Stage at Isle of Wight was awesome too and we got our TV debut off the back of that on Sky Arts. There have been loads more to be honest but thats probably bragging for now.
(JPD) Would you change anything about the last 12 months?
(JPD) How can you top 2017?
(AARON) We asked ourselves that question at the end of 2016, all I can say is we have album 3 coming out early next year, and another couple of singles, one of which i think is the best thing we have done. We are currently in the process of arranging our next tour and festivals and its already looking like 2018 will be bigger and better in terms of gigs if nothing else. And if the fans keep on spreading the word the way they have then who knows whats possible.
(JPD) Thank you for your time Aaron and congratulations again to you and the lads on an outstanding 12 months.
See you in 2018 and may it bring even greater success ✌