Slow Club | Live Review

slowclub2014

Packed full of authenticity, beauty and encompassing instrumentation…

Over the past five years, Slow Club have developed into a band more sure of themselves than ever. Their latest album ‘Complete Surrender’ sees them honing in on their Rn’B and sixties girl-group influences, with singles ‘Tears of Joy’ and ‘Suffering You, Suffering Me’ proving huge hits already. The album also sees them relax their harmonised approach, with both Rebecca and Charles taking things solo more often than not. It’s one of the biggest changes in the band’s approach to date and whilst some are raising their eyebrows, others are raising their hands. Tonight is the first chance to witness this new material in all its live glory.

Arriving with prosecco in hand, the band already look they’re having the time of their lives before they’ve even played a note. Smiling from ear to ear, they quickly launch into Paradise’s ‘If We’re Still Alive’ that riles up the crowd brilliantly, thanks to the thumping thwacks and anthemic lyricism. The Fleece swells to a sweaty mass, with everyone well and truly in the Thursday evening mood. Yet to jump into any new material, they tease us with ‘Beginners’ that showcases the band’s ability to write a heartbreaking pop banger. They never miss a beat, with the instrumentation as tight as can be.

Finally, we’re treated to some new material in the form of ‘Complete Surrender’ that sees Rebecca transform into a fully-fledged front woman. Tambourine in hand, she waltzes from side-to-side and produces a vocal that is so impressively record perfect, it feels as though we’re witnessing a transformation of soul-star proportions. ‘Complete Surrender’ goes down a treat, as just about everyone tries to sing along to the falsetto chorus lines. The new material continues to delight, as each band members jumps from instrument to instrument. ‘Not Mine to Love’ and ‘Panama and Paraguay’ are particular highlights, as each offering allows both Rebecca and Charles to shine unaccompanied, with only a single guitar for company.

There’s flashes of Slow Club past, with a rendition of ‘Yeah, So’s ‘Our Most Brilliant Friends’ and whilst this produces a gleeful and nostalgic atmosphere with its utterly charming approach, the older songs seem somewhat beneath this newly confident and almost stripped back band. The encore consists of the song of the night ‘Dependable People and Things That I’m Sure Of’ before finishing with ‘Two Cousins’. The first sees Rebecca jokingly state “Who wants to hear about my feelings?” before tip-toeing into a heartbreaking showcase of lost love. “And the cold wind blows and the Spring never came / And I feel so sick if I hear his name” she beautifully utters to a audience hanging on her every word.

As the reactions show, the new material is Slow Club’s strongest to date. Packed full of authenticity, beauty and encompassing instrumentation, the band effortlessly float through each song. Hopping from instrument to instrument and delightfully interacting with the crowd, the set not only portrays Slow Club’s imminent breakthrough stardom but also, their ability to stay grounded. This is an album that will take the two friends from Sheffield to new heights.

Watch the glimmering title track ‘Complete Surrender’ here: