The Slow Readers Club returned to Dublin’s Button Factory for a midweek pick-me-up, as they reached the halfway mark of their rescheduled Irish tour.
Words by Jack Squibb
The Slow Readers Club finally made it back to Dublin as part of their Irish tour that was postponed back in December. The Manchester band were meant to play in Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Limerick late last year. However, when bass player, James Ryan had to undergo surgery on his hand they were forced to postpone.
Bandaged up and cleared to return to the stage, the band finally managed to get back to The Button Factory. Joining them for support was Southampton native, Sean McGowan.
McGowan won the crowd over immediately with his witty charm, taking a call for someone at the front of the stage before his set started. He then made it abundantly clear that he is in fact not related to Shane or Alastair who share the same surname.
Moving on to the music side of his set, he shared tales of cringe-inducing memories of past holidays. While also venting frustrations over the struggles of working on zero-hour contracts, it was a heartfelt set mixed with banter and a dousing of harsh reality.
Sipping on a Guinness he not-so-subtly hinted he’d appreciate if someone bought for him, he shared memories of when he visited the west of Ireland, where his roots lay. McGowan was clearly enjoying his time back in Ireland. It was a wholesome start to the night.
The Slow Readers Club have a connection with the capital city, the place where they gave ‘Lunatic’ it’s live debut. While they’ve also been vocal about the support they’ve received, especially from TXFM, which ceased broadcasting in 2016.
The career-spanning set was littered with all the big-hitters. In between songs there’d be battle cries of “Readers” while others caught their breathe between the likes of ‘On The TV’ and ‘Feet On Fire’.
At this point in their career, The Slow Readers Club are like a well-oiled machine. Aaron Starkie has the crowd mirroring him like an those Olympic synchronised swimming teams.
While the band around him, James Ryan, Kurtis Starkie and David Whitworth take their songs to another level with the rousing melody of ‘You Opened Up My Heart’ soaring through the venue and then later, drove home the emotion that builds in the gut-punching ‘Block Out The Sun’.
On March 20th the band will release their fourth album, The Joy of the Return. Earlier in the day, the Manchester quartet released the video for lead single, ‘All I Hear’.
Later on when they were on stage, they teased the new album, playing ‘Jericho’, which was an upbeat number that was dominated by guitarist, Kurtis‘ infectious hook.
While there was no encore, before leaving the stage James Ryan took a moment to thank the crowd. Although cleared to perform, the bassist was still evidently recovering with a bandage wrapped around the hand that delayed their winter tour two months earlier.
He thanked their dedicated fan base who travelled from the UK and further afield, despite having to rebook flights for a midweek gig to see them.
They’re a band that have shown their gratitude at every chance they get and have a fan base that give it right back. When they’re all in a room together there’s not many places better to be than at a Slow Readers Club gig.
The Joy of the Return, the fourth album by The Slow Readers Club is out on Friday 20th March.
Check out the full gallery from the night: