Slow Readers Club – Live At O2 Apollo, Manchester: Album Review

Release Date: 25th October 2019

Label: Modern Sky Entertainment

Formats: CD/DVD, DL, 2LP vinyl

A dream come true.” A rather special homecoming, commemorated in audio-visual form to keep forever. You can tell your grandkids, “I was there” and even spot (or hear) yourself in the audience.

And I too have to say, erm, I was there (and spotted myself in the footage).  One of the 3500 that filled every space and yes it was pretty packed and seated all the way back to the rear circle. Quite some achievement but it’s been a steady build for the Readers who are a band who’ve certainly done their legwork. I recall being tickled by the irony of their Live At Central Library souvenir when the word was starting to spread that there was a new band in town worth taking notice of.

A landmark occasion where the Readers’ twenty song set from their self-titled debut album, Cavalcade and Build A Tower was played out on the expansive stage and into what must have seemed like the cavernous spaces of the Apollo. Throughout, stark white lighting fires front and back and adding to the electronic throbs and suspense of the music. The opening volley of the “build a tower” refrain from Lunatic and the personal favourite Fool For Your Philosophy with its Bladerunner bubbling that rings and bounces simply reinforce the excitement of the band arriving on stage.

Those who’ve likened their anthemic qualities to everyone from U2 to a more refined but no less urgent Joy Division, they’ve emerged as Manchester’s newest and greatest hope and they seem to be living up to the expectation. As well as a 60thh birthday shout out for Janice – won’t she be chuffed – the “twenty or so of you” who’ve been there from the beginning, those devoted in their calls of “Readeeeers”, get the dedication of One More Minute, one of those earlier numbers that showed the promise and befits the opportunity to echo into the larger space. These are songs that although it’s nice to be in more intimate and sweaty confines, that belong in bigger arenas.

One of their newer songs, On The TV, which always sounds to me like it should be a TV theme, is left for the finale of the encore although there are more than enough moments through the set which invoke a similar chest filling pride. Ultimately though, this artefact of a significant moment in time should go down as a sign of the value of a decent live album – all the greats have one in their locker and now Slow Readers Club have their very own.

Watch the footage of Lunatic from the album here:

Slow Readers Club online:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Youtube

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