Manchester’s Slow Readers Club could well be the slow burners club. The band themselves have always been white hot, with a loyal fan base who soon caught on quick. It’s been the public at large that have been sluggish to catch on to one of the North West’s finest exports.
Formed in 2011 from the ashes of previous incarnation Omertà, their self titled debut album was also self released later that year. Word of mouth soon spread, with the band picking up national airplay on BBC6 Music, Xfm and scoring support slots for the likes of Catfish and The Bottlemen and James. Drawing comparisons to Interpol and The National, The Slow Readers Club were becoming known as Manchester’s best kept secret. Two further self released albums later, the secret was definitely out. Selling out Manchester’s Ritz two months in advance despite still being without a record deal. After signing to Modern Sky UK, they released fourth album Build a Tower to critical acclaim and commercial success.
New EP For All Here To Observe is a stripped back collection of acoustic re-workings that spans their entire career and is produced by Phil Bulleyment (Beady Eye, Dutch Uncles). Opening with Supernatural from their latest release, shucking this track to its bare bones doesn’t strip it of any power. It preserves the killer hooks and gives space to showcase the amazing vocal talent of Aaron Starkie. His versatility shows on the second track from Build a Tower, On The TV. His powerful voice delicate on this shorn rendition.
Moving into 2015’s Cavalcade, I Saw a Ghost has a folk feel when stripped of the studio version’s pulsating bass and echoing riffs. Forever In Your Debt preserves the infectious bassline at its forefront, but tight vocal harmonies replace the synths on this beautiful re-work. While the acoustic version of 2017 single Lunatic surpasses the original studio version. Ending on Block Out The Sun from their debut, this track somehow seems to sound fuller than its original. Even when devoid of its string section.
For All Here To Observe is a demonstration of what’s got The Slow Readers Club where they are today. Great Songwriting. By stripping back, this retrospective not only shows the effulgence of Starkie’s voice but the profoundness of his lyrics. The Slow Readers Club act as a demonstration that talent alone sometimes doesn’t make it happen. But the application of sheer hard work, determination, perseverance and self-belief has finally won them the adulation they deserve.
For All Here To Observe is released September 14th on Modern Sky UK and can be ordered here.