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Live / stage review

A clamorous climax: Slow Readers Club at Leadmill

The Mancunian foursome delight a spirited Sheffield crowd with a set spanning their entire career to date.

9 September 2022 at
Whats App Image 2022 09 17 at 2 07 32 PM
Daniel Atherton.

The Slow Readers Club have gone fairly under the radar since their first studio album in 2011. Their sound is recognisable and has a familiar feel to it, probably due to their later material bearing comparison to Manchester neighbours New Order. But they begun their latest tour this side of the Pennines, playing to a packed crowd at the Leadmill.

Almost instantly on arriving at the venue, it’s clear to see the cult following this band has – I can’t remember a gig where so many fans were wearing the band’s merch. Chants of “readers!” ring out at the near-capacity venue before the four-piece even took to the stage.

They opened with ‘Yet Again’, the lead single from their latest album 91 Days of Isolation, a repetitive track with recurring basslines that capture the Readers’ powerful sound perfectly.

‘Plant the Seed’ and ‘Start Again’ are popular with the boisterous crowd, containing wavy synths and soothing melodies. The anthemic ‘The Greatest Escape’ encapsulates their electronic-indie aesthetics down to a tee. Lead singer Aaron Starkie is a captivating frontman with a commanding stage presence, as he provides deadpan vocals over an infectious and energetic sound. There were live debuts for the operatic ‘Wanted Much More’ and the engaging ‘Like I Wanted To’ – the latter beginning as a gentle piano ballad before building to a clamorous climax.

It’s incomprehensible to imagine life without live music at the Leadmill. While we have this incredible venue in its current form, it’s important to reflect on what these nights mean to gig-goers. It’s safe to say The Slow Readers Club’s dedicated fanbase won’t forget this night in a hurry.

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