Cheeky live review destined for The Student paper.
Live: Slow Club - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Monday 19th September
Rumours are abounding that none other than winter-voiced-mercurial-Scots-bard King Creosote has graced Cabaret Voltaire with his quiet presence. In combination with the perfectly chosen support act, the whimsical Welsh minstrel Sweet Baboo,there’s a very British feel to proceedings even before Sheffield sweethearts Slow Club take to the stage.
And there’s no argument that Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson do create something distinctly British; their devastatingly polite and romantically yearning rockabilly-folk-duo debut Yeah So delightfully chronicled the heartbeat highs and lows of young love, as though providing the mixtape for a generation of forlorn youngsters.
Yet tonight the duo has returned with just a little more confidence, two more members on bass and percussion and a clutch of new material from new album Paradise, and instantly the live experience becomes more than a series of quiet love-letters and sentimental songs. Frantic opener Where I’m Waking sees Taylor, bristling with newfound sass and seduction, coolly tempting “You’ve got the brains, I’ve got the body”, whilst Watson adds snarl and unexpected walls of sounds. Slow Club have altogether grown up, and don’t fancy taking no for an answer.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean the gentle skiffling romance that made their live shows so stunningly poignant has been abandoned; Never Look Back, Hackney Marsh and Horses Jumping all build and crescendo with melancholic blues and soaring harmonies. They’re not perfect renditions – a little too much distortion, a couple of restarts, some off-kilter vocals – but it seems a little unnecessary to get hung up on; Slow Club are having a whale of a time, all chatter and apologies, and the diminutive mistakes just add to the sense of joyous abandon and juvenile adoration they so brilliantly encapsulate.
Slowly the crowd favourites emerge, and it’s a smile-inducing testament to the band that the old ode Come on Youth curls up so well alongside new tracks like leading single Two Cousins;every lyric is willingly roared back, wild and whirling dancing ensues. Slow Club’s evolution is just what it should be, and it’s a pleasure to be at a gig where the boy-girl-duo seems to be finding their feet so firmly.
Slow Club is still the band you’d write your love-letters to. They’re still gentle, polite and unashamedly romantic, but now with a little more eccentricity and conviction. All of which makes the experience that little bit more special.
What I can’t write there is that I fell head over heels in love with Rebecca Taylor.
As a treat, click on that there photo a few times and you should be directing to my favourite Slow Club track, Christmas TV. It is truly a thing of perfection, plus there’s only 92 days until Christmas. So that’s worth celebrating.
The Midweek Mixtape