Ahead of tonight’s sold-out show at Dublin’s The Workman’s, State’s James Glynn chats to Manchester indie outfit the Slow Reader’s Club about their latest record, comparisons to the Manchester greats and the support they’ve greatly received so far.
With the release of your second album, followed by plenty of touring and airplay, would it be fair to say that 2015 was a breakthrough year for the Slow Readers Club?
Yeah it definitely felt like a step up, in Manchester we have gone from playing venues like the Night and Day to selling out Manchester Gorilla. We’ve been touring a lot too and building our fan base in different cities, Sheffield, Glasgow, London and more recently Dublin have been great to us. We also played some decent festivals last year with Isle of Wight and Ramsbottom festival being highlights
We’ve had a good few plays from BBC 6 Music and Radio X in the UK and the support from TXFM Dublin has been phenomenal. Our single ‘Don’t Mind’ featured on Steve Lamacq’s round table. 2015 was fantastic but things have kept building this year too, it’s a really exciting time for the band and for the fans that have followed us.
Cavalcade came out last year to much critical and popular acclaim. How would you say it differed to your debut record?
Its dynamically a bit more sophisticated, the individual instruments have a bit more room to breathe. This is partly due to us getting better as musicians but our producer Phil Bulleyment played a major role in shaping the sound of this record. Fundamentally though it’s popular because the songs mean something to people, it’s been fantastic to hear people singing along at gigs and it’s amazing to share that connection with people.
In terms of style, being from Manchester and considering the electronic influence in your music, there have been notable comparisons to the likes of Joy Division as well as some other Factory records acts. Was this era of music in any way inspirational for the band?
I recently saw an interview with Paul Banks from Interpol where he found comparisons to Joy Division frustrating. I definitely identify with that, I understand why people make the comparison but we are pretty different to Joy Division really. We grew up in the ’80s so that was the music that was around us, bands like The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Echo and The Bunneymen, Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, Jesus and Mary Chain – even the pop end of electro like Yazoo and Erasure have probably all been influences. When we are touring in the van, we usually end up listening to Michael Jackson and Madonna though.
What about some more modern bands. I’ve seen comparisons made to the likes of Editors and Interpol. Would you be fans of there music too?
Yeah we like Editors and Interpol and the National, LCD Soundsystem, Foals and Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, none of those are mega new are they but they are the ones that stick out for me in this moment. Arcade Fire were the last band to really blow me away I think – Funeral was an amazing debut.
Keeping on the theme of big Manchester bands, you’re about to go on tour with James. What’s your relationship like with them, and were they in any way influential on Slow Readers Club?
Yeah I think they have been, lyrically especially, but they also have brilliant melodies. I listened to them a lot in the late nineties and early 2000’s, I have to admit to getting into them via the ‘best of’ though as uncool as that sounds. It was a real honour to be asked to support them and to hear Jim and Saul say positive things about our latest album is pretty mind blowing.
Of course before that tour you have your big sold out gig in the Workman’s Club on Saturday night. Have you played Dublin before? If so, what are you expecting from the venue?
This is our first time in Dublin and we can’t wait, we were blown away when it sold out after a week of being on sale. I’m sure we have TXFM to thank for that, their support has been amazing. We really can’t wait for the show, we’ve heard the venue is great.
Following the tour, you’ve a few festivals on too so it’s going to be a busy Summer for you guys. Once your schedule clears, what do you see the next step being for the band?
Yeah we have Kendal Calling, Tramlines, and Glass Butter Beach announced so far with more to announce soon. After that we will be focusing on writing our third album with maybe some big shows at the end of the year.
Slow Readers Club play the Workman’s, Dublin tonight. Highly recommended.