Slow Readers Club, Albert Hall, Manchester.

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Slow Readers Club play to a full Albert Hall in Manchester

A cold miserable Friday evening, in the heart of Manchester. Can sometimes be enough to stop many people venturing out to a gig. Tonight, at The Albert Halls, The Slow Readers Club being our hosts, having sold out their biggest headlining venue months in advance. As the venue fills, a real buzz, is flowing around this magnificent venue.

This is the Penultimate gig on Their, “Through the Shadow tour”. A tour that has seen the band sell out all venues, an achievement not to be underestimated.

The road here has been a steady one, each stage bigger, every audience larger, performance after performance stronger. Tonight, is not about how big the venue is, or where next, its about a home-grown band, playing their hometown, to a fan base that have travelled from up and down the country, in order to see The Slow readers club, play a landmark gig in the city it all began.

Desperate Journalists, hailing from London are the support act, post punk influences, tinged with indie rock, power from the stage. Jo Bevan lead vocalist has an enigmatic presence and provides a performance, that has you captivated, from the off. Rob Hardy Guitar along with Simon Drowner on Bass lay down a layered structure, to Bevans vocal assault. All this is powered forward by the excellent drumming from Caroline Helbert. I would highly recommend their album” Grow up” that was released earlier this year. All in all, Desperate Journalist along with tonight’s hosts are defiantly ones to watch in 2018.

2000 plus people are chanting “Readers, Readers” as the band take to the stage. Opening with “Fool for your philosophy”, “Sirens”, and the oh so excellent “Start again” Aaron is fully into his stride, vocally on point, foot stomping, quite simply engaging the crowd. “Grace of God”, “Not the Only One”, and “One More Minute”, see the band forge forward. The thing that galvanises the SRC is their work, not just what they lay down as tracks but how they perform them live. Its what defines The Readers.

“Feet on Fire”, “Through the Shadows”, “Plant the Seed”, the evening is as much about the fans and their adoration of the band, many of whom have been Readers from the early days, hanging on every word, stomping, to every beat, taking every opportunity to let loose.

David pushes the drums to perfection, rhythm and timing that is the bedrock of power behind the bands delivery, this is fed and harnessed by Jim on Bass, both elements equally part of the DNA of the band. Up next is “Lost Boys”, “Block Out the Sun” and their latest single,” Lunatic”, when you listen and watch the Readers perform you realise what a strong unit they are as a band, Sublime vocals and lyrics delivered by Aaron, a rhythm and power base provided by David and Jim, the final piece in this jigsaw is Kurtis, who provides through his laid-back guitar playing a texture so intricate, so delicate yet so infectious, for me this is the heart of the band.
“You Opened Up My Heart,” Know the Day Will Come”, and the title track to the excellent album of the same name, “Cavalcade”. Keep the atmosphere electric, this is a triumphant home performance by any standard, confident, and assured.

As we come to the end of the performance end the chants of “Readers, Readers” ringing out to a very appreciative band who were simply in their element, “Forever in your dept.” is the penultimate song. As the balloons begin to fall onto the audience the last track of the evening is the haunting “I saw a ghost”.

Over the last few years Manchester has been looking for a new sound a new direction, a band that could put the future of music back into Manchester. I give you The Slow Readers Club. 2018 will be another pivotal year in the development of the band I am sure.

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