Slow Club, Sheffield’s finest, have evolved a lot since 2009’s debut album Yeah So. The band were once renowned for folky, melodic songs with heart-wrenching lyrics inspired by the hardest and deepest moments in the lives of multi-instrumentalists and shared front-people, Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson. The band may have moved on from twee acoustic guitars and wonderfully cute special Christmas shows, but their core ethos remains as beautiful as in the beginning: stunningly haunting vocals and heart-breaking lyrics contrasted with upbeat, poppy synths and guitars that mirror Taylor’s current influences – according to her online persona, she is a big fan of Little Mix and Beyoncé.
I was lucky enough to see the band for the first time in almost five years at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds’s most well-loved live music venue. The sold out gig enjoyed an eclectic crowd made up of a variety of ages, with everyone glued to the stage the moment Taylor, Watson, and the supporting instrumentalists took to the stage. Taylor’s soaring vocals had the effect of both breaking everyone’s hearts and making us want to dance amidst the shards of the shattered remnants.
The set list heavily featured the band’s last two albums, 2016’s One Day All of This Won’t Matter Anymore and 2014’s Complete Surrender, with tracks such as ‘Suffering You, Suffering Me’ combining the soul searching lyrics we have come to love and expect- “Do I find something new, or keep suffering you” -against an almost jazz-like backdrop. However, it was ‘Our Most Brilliant Friends’ from 2009’s debut Yeah So that most electrified the crowd, paying testament to the universal knowledge that a band’s “golden oldies”, as Taylor jokingly introduced the song, are often their most cherished. Another stand-out moment was ‘Sweetest Grape on the Vine’, from the most recent album, performed by Watson, his softer and gentler tones offering a wonderful contrast to the powerful vocals we had received all night from Taylor.
The gig demonstrated exactly how and why Slow Club have been such a constant in independent music circles for so many years; the band are not afraid to match lyrics dealing with the most difficult of times with upbeat, poppy instrumentals, and most importantly brilliant vocals, to create a completely original sound. The only thing that could have made the gig more perfect would have been the inclusion of songs from the band’s much-loved Christmas EP: Christmas Thanks for Nothing.
Regardless, the gig will definitely be remembered as one of my favourites; the loveliest venue, crowd and lyrics made for a night of live music perfect for a Sunday night following the wreckage of Halloween weekend.
Image: [Band on the Wall]