The Slow Readers Club

The Slow Readers Club are a Manchester based four piece band who specialise in dark and brooding indie electro. Their music has drawn comparisons with Interpol, The Killers and The National. Here I speak to Lead Singer Aaron Starkie about supporting Space on their headlining tour and how social music is changing music.

LB: You’re playing Newcastle City Hall on 17th May 2016 supporting James, How did you supporting James come about?

Jim Glennie posted a video of us performing an acoustic version of one of our tracks on Twitter saying he thought it was great. It came completely out of the blue, we were amazed. We managed to get a CD to them with a note saying that we would love to support them, and a few weeks later we heard from their management!

LB: How do you find Northeast Crowds?

This will be our first time in the North East really, the nearest we have played is Ayton on the Scottish Borders. We got a very warm welcome there in April. We will do our best to impress in Newcastle

LB: You have a new album “Cavalcade” came out in April 2015; what inspires you in the song writing process?

It’s hard to say really each band member brings their own angle on things. We feed off each other. We draw from a shared love of everything from artists like Michael Jackson to Daft punk to more individual choices like The Smiths and Echo and the Bunneymen.

LB: What is your favourite song off the new EP “Cavalcade” and Why?

We all have our own personal favourites but ‘forever in your debt’ stands out. It’s a fan favourite live and it was the first single off the album, that coupled with the b-side ‘days like this will break your heart’ provide a good snap shot of what we are about as a band.

LB: Which type of venue do you prefer playing smaller intimate venues or bigger venues like Arenas?

We’ve yet to play an Arena, although we are going to open for James at Manchester Arena on the 13th! We just played Brixton Academy with James which was pretty exhilarating, it’s a daunting prospect playing to 5000 people when most of them won’t have heard of you but it’s a thrill when you win them over. The biggest gig we have headlined is Manchester Gorilla which is 600 capacity, it has taken some getting used to moving up to these bigger venues.

LB: Who inspired you when you were growing up?

Our parents are all music lovers so for me and Kurt we had a lot of Elvis, Motown, The Beatles as well as 80′s pop because our Dad DJ’d around that time. As we got into our teens it was people like Morrissey, Ian Brown, Thom Yorke and Kurt Cobain.

LB: What is the best and worst thing about touring?

The best thing is finishing a gig and feeling like it’s gone well and you have won new people over. The worst thing is the long hours traveling and lack of sleep. We do it round day jobs at the moment so it can be but if a challenge some of us are better than others at remembering where we are supposed to be.

LB: What made you want to join a band and what is the stories behind you’re band name?

When we started out it felt like a lot of working class bands seemed to be out there doing it – it seemed accessible. We wanted to be like our heroes. It seems a bit different these days, there is less money for bands starting out so increasingly you are seeing artists that seem to come from money. In terms of the story behind our name – when I was moving from junior school to senior school I remember being taken on a tour of all the class rooms, The English room, science labs and what have you. One of the rooms we were shown was called ‘special needs’. It struck me as a frightening concept that someone could be taken out of the mainstream of education like that. I guess The Slow Readers Club is kind of sticking two fingers up at that concept.

LB: If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone famous dead or alive; who would you invite and why?

Elvis and John Lennon and Rick Mayall, Steve Coogan and Ricky Gervais for laughs

LB: What advice would you give to a band or solo artist just starting out?

Try and write the best music you can first and foremost and get it out there. There is a very low barrier to entry these days in getting your music on iTunes and Spotify etc as an independent artist. Never pay to play, learn about the business and try find out who the best promoters are in your area.

LB: How do you think the internet and social media have changed the face of music?

Massively, music has become a lot more accessible to people David Bowie was right when he said “Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity.”

These days people can pay £7 and access any music they want instantly, this has its pros and cons. It’s hard to keep people’s attention when people are experiencing music via a Facebook news feed watching a snippet and moving on, it seems a lot more transitory. That said it has meant that artists like us can gain a significant audience without any label backing so we welcome it in many ways.

LB: What does 2016 hold for The Slow Readers Club?

After the James tour we have a good few festivals, Castlepalooza, Tramlines, Kendal Calling, Victorious Festival and Ramsbottom Festival to name a few. After that we will be writing and then returning for our own headline shows at the end of the year.

You can catch The Slow Readers Club at Newcastle City Hall on 17th May 2016 supporting James on their UK Headlining tour.

Thanks to Lisa Bartos for this interview.



By peter on May 16, 2016

Check out all the pics

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