Review: Slow Club @ The Cavern, 01/05/12

Ryan Barrell reflects on Slow Club’s recent gig at The Cavern

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Keen Twitterers may be aware of Slow Club’s recent criticism following their shows, but on the run-up to this gig I couldn’t possibly see how a band with such a great repertoire could be disappointing.

Slow Club’s unique upbeat folk-pop has been one of my favourite musical tipples since the release of "Yeah So" in 2009.

Following an almost hour-long wait after the first support act, I had hoped that the headline act would be as intimate and awe-inspiring as the melodic Michele Stodart, whose angsty yet catchy tunes brought back memories of last term’s Los Campesinos! gig at the Phoenix.

As Slow Club took the stage, they trudged through various tracks from their new album, "Paradise", stopping at one point to admit that they were aware of the “underwhelming” nature of the new tracks, suggesting that “some people are gonna ask for their money back.

The early part of the set was almost like an interim in which we were just waiting for some tracks from "Yeah So" and their earlier singles so we could finally dance, but were instead treated to an egotistical plugging of the much less exciting, but still brilliant, recent tracks.

Ignoring the crowds cries for classics like “Me And You” Rebecca and Charles failed to connect with the audience even with their cries of “unnnaaaaaay, no parents!” and went on to amble towards the inevitable encore.

Once it finally arrived, the energetic recitation of "Giving Up On Love" was like a breath of fresh air. Sadly, that was the end to the sub-par set.

"Paradise" is a good album, by all means. Go out and buy it. However, I think I was disappointed by this gig simply because I was expecting something a little different. It’s not often that a band is overwhelmed by the sheer musical prowess of a supporting act, but the plain truth is that Michele Stodart’s set was filled with foot-tappers (if you’ll excuse me sounding like a 50 year old), while Slow Club didn’t seem to want anyone to sing along, or dance.

I have no problem with the band playing music from the new album, of course, but it would have been nice to hear them play the songs that I’ve identified with for so long. If I had heard "It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful" or "Dance ‘Til The Morning Light", I would have walked away a happy, sweaty, man but unfortunately I just wasn’t feeling it.

Overall a good gig, but not great.