Slow Club at O2 Academy Leicester

Slow Club bring their national tour in support of their new album One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore to the O2 Academy in Leicester.

I felt a little bit of trepidation going to see Slow Club. I had absolutely loved their third album Complete Surrender and they had been fantastic when I saw them playing at a festival just after it came out. However, I was a little underwhelmed after the first couple of listens to One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore. I felt that it lacked the immediacy of its predecessor and the hand of producer Matthew E White laid a little too heavy on the tiller.

It seems to be a bit of a theme of 2016 with Painting Of A Panic Attack by Frightened Rabbit clearly produced by a member of The National and Kate Jackson’s debut British Road Movies has Bernard Butler’s fingerprints all over it. So what would Slow Club’s live show entail? How would they blend this new sound with what had come before? (Especially as Complete Surrender had been quite a departure from what had come before anyway)

But before we get to find out, we’re treated to Girl Ray from London as the support group. They begin with Just To Get Close To You before the band break out the choreographed dance moves, which basically involved the guitarist, bassist and keyboardist jumping through 90 degrees in unison, like a weird indie Macarena. After playing forthcoming single Trouble, the band mention that this is their first time in Leicester and they’re impressed by the roads but the only part of the city that they’re really seen in McDonalds. They close their set with the excellent I’ll Make This Fun, which came out earlier this year and sounds even better live.

Then it’s time for the headliners and Rebecca and Charles are joined by a three-piece backing band as they open with Come On poet from the new album. Rebecca wants to know why Leicester doesn’t have a statue of Gary Lineker yet, especially after his recent comments in support of refugees. The set really gets going with everyone singing along with Tears Of Joy. The rest of the band leaves during Sweetest Grape On The Vine, which Charles sings on his own accompanying himself on the Fender VI. It really emphasises the beauty and the fragility of the song.

Rebecca then takes over the drums for Tattoo Of The King but she mentions that she messed up the song the night before when she accidentally went off into an Afro-Caribbean rhythm. We also learn that Rebecca’s brother came to university in Leicester so she knows all about drinking Irn Bru vodka in Flares. Penultimate song In Waves does still bear a few of the Matthew E White hallmarks when played live. The Queen’s Nose is then announced as the final song of the evening complete with Rebecca doing some “human emoji” winking faces implying that there may be an encore. During the song, she has to apologise for there being too much reverb and then she forgets some of the words.

The encore duly arrives, crowned with an absolutely amazing Suffering You, Suffering Me. In the end the set-list was around 50% new material (making a mockery of the song, Everything Is New) but it all fits seamlessly in with the older songs. Played live it feels like they’ve taken more ownership of the new songs and they feel more like Slow Club tracks. It’s been a tremendous gig, the band really on top form and their rapport with the audience make it feel like a really intimate gig despite the slightly odd shaped room. I walk out of the gig, still singing Suffering You, Suffering Me under my breath with a smile on my face, my pre-gig fears totally allayed.

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