IN CONVERSATION WITH: The Slow Readers Club
WORDS BY RUSSELL HOPE
Manchester is famous for bearing fruit to some excellent bands over the years with consistent yield and constant motivation to encourage and strive for better. Over recent years The Slow Readers Club have been making impressions far and wide with strong performances and collaborations a plenty. We were invited to chat to Aaron and Kurt from the band and jumped at the chance. Vocals, keys and guitar respectively, the two brothers and the rest of the band are touring the recently released ‘Build a Tower’ and are due to release an eagerly awaiting acoustic album this week (14th September).
Clearly excited about the release of the EP ‘For All Here To Observe‘, Aaron explains the story behind it: “We’ve done a few radio sessions and acoustic stuff, as well as supporting James at Albert Hall at the end of last year. We figured we’d just get it recorded.”
The tracklist spans all three of their studio albums – “it allowed us to explore our sound more” – and there’s a feeling of the band wanting to deliver more to the fans and constantly wanting to challenge themselves. Kurt explained a bit more around the actual recording: “when we’ve done radio sessions before, me and Aaron normally turn up with an acoustic guitar and now and then we’ve had Jim on acoustic bass so we decided to mic up the drums and use brushes. It really gave the whole thing a different texture.” Aaron talked about Chris Croft who’s behind some of the bands iconic videos being with them in the studio filming as they recorded “it was stripped back and nice to see, the fans have been loving it so we’ll be doing more of it”.
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Keen to be out on the road promoting the releases of ‘Build a Tower’ and ‘For All Here To Observe’, The Slow Readers Club are off to Germany then Italy with two festivals in their slightly more extended summer than the British summer time: “it really gives us a wider audience and we’re hoping to do more of Europe next year too”. Featuring on the bill twice in as many years at the fast-growing UK festival Kendal Calling, they have felt the benefit of the growing fanbase “when we played this year (at Kendal Calling) we saw ticket sales go up a couple of hundred for the Manchester Apollo gig! That’s what it’s all about” The pair laugh triumphantly about the success they’ve had and know that it’s taken a lot of graft to get there. From early gigs playing to a handful of people at out of town venues to selling out Albert Hall last year and progressing to the fantastic, iconic and 80 year old Apollo this year (celebrated just a couple of weeks ago). The Apollo is on every bands’ wishlist as a venue to play – “We’ve only got 56 tickets left!” Aaron reports on the ticket sales. That’s fast progress but it comes with very little surprise for a rapidly growing music act. Keep knocking out those tunes and they’ll be taking the sound even further.
When asked what their favourite festival is, they fondly talk of the performances at Kendall Calling and Festival No.6, including the performance with Joe Duddell, “we rehearsed in the morning, did a full band set at Tim Peaks and then on to the Town Hall later in the day to do a 6 piece set. We were picked by Joe Duddell and he’s worked with New Order, James, the Charlatans, all sorts of people.”
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Here’s two guys who clearly love the music they’re working on – and not just making it – Aaron speaks of him and Jim (bassist) having stuck around for Arcade Fire at Isle of Wight Festival and how they’re into what the Charlatans are doing and how supportive they’ve been to The Slow Readers Club journey. We chatted further about the physical music formats of tapes, records and even the recent mash up which saw them involved with Tim Burgess of Bands F.C. where in a Top Trumps, meets Panini, meets NME style the Teams Logos have been reimagined as a link to famous bands. “We’re all reds!” the duo mention, chatting around the Stone Roses link on Bands F.C. to Manchester United “The Daft Punk, Paris St Germain ones good too” quips Aaron.
The celebration of physical music, reaching number 4 in the vinyl chart and number 1 in the cassette chart is important to how the band connect with their fans “for me as a kid (a record) was an expression of who I was” knods Aaron, with a trim tip of the cap to musics physical formats. Vinyl has always been a big part of my life and I used the example of Nirvanas ‘Unplugged’ album released after their show on white vinyl, which I bought straight away. “That’s the pinnacle of “unplugged” when you’re recording a live acoustic album! With Nirvana you hear a lot of their influences and their version of David Bowie‘s ‘Man Who Sold The World’ was actually almost better than Bowie’s”.
Top lads and a band proudly from Manchester, about to play their biggest home coming gig to date at the Apollo this year, one not to be missed, get onto the tickets before they sell out completely!