It’s fair to say that The Workman’s Club pick their live acts well. Obviously limited in their selection (in terms of star power) due to its relative size, the club’s management have a great knack of booking exciting, up-and-coming bands whose sound perfectly complements the venue’s enclosed acoustics. Thankfully, Manchester Indie-electro rockers Slow Readers Club are no exception.
Having enjoyed something of a breakthrough year in 2015, with the release of second album Calvacade, and preparing to head on a major summer tour in support of renowned Manchester counterparts James, the band settle into their sold out Dublin set with the kind of stoic confidence that suggests the crowd are in for a thumping night. They don’t disappoint, reeling through a series of hits from the new album, including ‘Fool For Your Philosophy’ ‘Start Again’ and ‘I Saw A Ghost’, in such pulsating fashion that you wonder if they’ve been performing here all week. They will surely play far bigger stages than this, but, in many ways, this venue seems perfect for their coarse, industrial post-punk inspired sound, with SRC front man Aaron Starkie’s calm, no nonsense demeanour indicative of the band’s no frills, to-the-point style and stature.
It is their authoritative on-stage presence however, coupled with the anthemic nature of the music, that ensures Slow Readers Club have the refreshingly mixed crowd on side from the off. While the band played down comparisons with legendary brooding rock-outfit Joy Division in a recent interview with State, Starkie’s restrained charisma and stoic delivery is certainly reminiscent of one Ian Curtis, while his band are unquestionably displaying a similar level of on-stage authority to their iconic Manchester counterparts.
Undeterred by some minor bass malfunctions that interrupt the flow of their performance on a couple of occasions, the band continue to go about their business with a minimum of fuss. ‘Feet on Fire’, a track from their lesser known self-titled debut, goes down a particular treat, Starkie’s protruding vocals forcefully combining with thumping bass and drums to produce a reverberating effect throughout the room.
As an act that has received a lot of recent attention as a result of some generous air play, Slow Readers Club remain respective of their Dublin hosts throughout, and although the chat is kept to minimum, they duly announce a well deserved thanks to TXFM, the well-loved Dublin station currently championing their music. With the steady, yet somewhat analogous anthems continuing into the night, the atmosphere begins to lull somewhat, with the wait for seminal track ‘Plant the Seed’ almost palpable.
When it does eventually arrive towards the end of the set however, it’s well worth the wait, the identifiably penetrating sound of the looping electronics sending the appreciative crowd into rapture. This is then followed by the bass heavy ‘Forever In Your Debt’, as the Slow Readers Club capitalise on the upturn of energy in the room, while the suitably soaring, ‘One More Minute’ from the band’s first album, is an aptly pounding closer.
Having almost exhausted their back catalogue, there is unsurprisingly no encore, but there is an air around the room that Slow Readers Club have done more than enough to send their newest batch of fans home happy. A commanding performance from a band about to take the next step.