Skip to main content

Slow Club @ Gloucester Guildhall - Thursday 26th February 2015


Having made several attempts to write a coherent/enjoyable/insightful piece about Slow Club's gig since they played Gloucester Guildhall on Thursday 26 February, I'm going to admit defeat and just spew out some thoughts that came to mind while I was there - otherwise referred to as a real music reviewer's first draft.  Here goes:

1.  It was very clear from the off that Rebecca and Charles really like and really enjoy performing their songs.  I get the impression that Complete Surrender was exactly the album they wanted to make.  

2.  I read one review that said that Rebecca had "lungs like parachutes".  I'm not going to disagree - her voice is as raw and as emotive and as affecting as they come and it reaches heights that few contemporary singers can achieve.  She's one of the best vocalists out there, and I can say that having listened to an inordinate amount of music by British female singer-songwriters over the past ten years.  However, Charles should be praised as well.  While his voice may not be as big as Rebecca's, I looked forward to his solos just as much.  He plays a big vocal part on the new album.  Spurred on by Rebecca's ability, he's obviously worked hard on his own - and it's paid off.  Some of my favourite songs from Complete Surrender features him as the principal vocalist.  

3.  A few songs into their gig and I was reminded of a a quote about Tilda Swinton by film director David Fincher:  “She doesn’t announce her presence, she just slowly steals all the gravity.”  I don't want to inflate anyone's ego here, but Rebecca did that with her voice.  Her stage presence is quite astonishing.  

4.  I was struck by how modest and unfussy their songs are.  They're very lean things that are unburdened of excess, frivolity or ornamentation.  

5.  I also realised afterwards that I didn't notice any of the instruments at any point during the show.  I've ruminated over this point a great deal since.  I think this derives from their lack of ostentation.  It's not the case that their playing didn't stand out, but rather more to do with the fact that it blends so well with how they sing and what they're singing about that it becomes inconspicuous to the overall message of the song rather than slipping down the road of sentimentality. 
  
6.  Rebecca has a career in comedy if she wants it.  I won't link the duck face sketch - let's just say she's hilarious and leave it at that.  Follow her on Twitter. It'll be the best choice you make today.    


7.  I was at a Lianne La Havas gig a few years back and I remember thinking how angry her songs were towards men.  While Slow Club's songs aren't as overtly angry as La Havas' (Rebecca has a much more philosophical outlook when it comes to matters of the heart), it made me wonder what would happen to Slow Club's style, output and roles within the band if Rebecca found the right man.  And she will find him eventually.  

8.  The duet clearly have a lot of respect for one another.

9.  They have earned their dues.  Their albums have progressively improved and they deserve a Mercury Prize nomination or an appearance on Jools Holland.  They'd wipe the floor with some of the clowns that appear on that show. 

10.  If they don't hit the big time (although I have every confidence that they will), then I hope they continue to record and perform because they will always have a loyal fan base.  I've not been to an exceptional number of gigs, but I've listened to enough music to know that Slow Club are the real deal.  They're a duet to follow very closely.      


  

Comments

  1. Tom, being the old bugger that I am I HAVE been to an exceptional number of gigs and I agree that Slow Club are indeed the real deal. It was a wonderful gig and I'll definitely have to see them again. Thanks again for the ticket - much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Expert Analysis of Michael Fassbender's Running Style From the Film 'Shame'

Tom Wiggins: What are your first impressions of Michael Fassbender/Brandon's running style? Paul Whittaker: He's running nice, smooth and relaxed. He seems like he has a good amount of fitness and he is running well within himself in terms of pace.   TW: What improvements could he make to his running style? PW: The main improvement I'd make is his foot plant.  He lands heel first and this causes a 'breaking' effect when travelling forwards.  If he landed on his mid-foot/forefoot, this would be a much better for impact stress and propulsion going forward into the next running stride. TW: Regarding his speed, how many minutes per mile is he running? PW: I would say he is running approx 7-7.30 minutes per mile. TW:  What do you make of his stride lengths?  Is he overstriding/understriding? PW: The actor is definitely overstriding in this clip.  It would help if his feet landed underneath and below his centre of gravity. TW: What's his posture like? PW: A slight forward le…

The Diary of an Apprentice Letter Carver

I qualified as a stonemason last July and completed an incredibly enjoyable and memorable stonemasonry apprenticeship with The Prince's Foundation for Building Community in which I made so many friends and worked on so many historic buildings.  During that time, I had a two-week letter carving placement with Bernard Johnson, a very talented and friendly letter carver based in Oxfordshire.  It was with him that I picked up the bug for letter carving and realised that I didn't want to do anything else.  He didn't have an apprentice opportunities at that time, but pointed me in the direction of Fergus Wessel, another letter carver in Oxfordshire.  I went to visit  Fergus at his Stonecutters workshop and after a week's trial, he was able to offer me a four-year apprenticeship.  I am both incredibly lucky to have been given the chance of being his new apprentice, not least because he himself was trained at the prestigious Kindersley Studio.  A diary of my experience as an a…

The Babalú Coffee House & Graffiti in Central Reykjavik

A month or two after getting back from last year's trip to Iceland, I noticed on my analytics page that my blog had attracted a massive seven visitors who were based in Iceland. 'That's strange.' I thought. 'I haven't even mentioned, let alone blogged about Iceland yet. Why am I attracting visitors?' It was at this point that I recalled scrawling my blog address on the wall of a Reykjavik coffee shop. Don't worry, readers: it was perfectly legal.

Any UK-based coffee house would have shown me the door as I graffitied this here url across their wall, but this was the Babalú Coffee House.  And you soon realise upon arriving in Iceland that it has the highest concentration of cool, calm and creative types than just about anywhere else in the world.  Iceland is like the coolest place you've ever visited...just better.  It's so hip that it could bring that very word back into fashion.  
Situated on the Skólavördustigur road and roughly between Ha…