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SLOW CLUB

The Underground Youth

Low Slow Needle - Reissue

    To celebrate its ten-year anniversary, Fuzz Club Records are reissuing The Underground Youth’s 2011 ‘Low Slow Needle’ EP on 10” vinyl with remastered audio. ‘Low Slow Needle’s hauntingly minimal, neo-psychedelic melancholy provides a more lo-fi snapshot of the now-Berlin-based band’s earlier days – when The Underground Youth was more of a DIY solo endeavour for Blackpool-born musician Craig Dyer, as opposed to the much-adored, full-band, international touring force that it is now. Looking back on ‘Low Slow Needle’, Dyer said: “The EP was recorded in September 2011, I had just returned to the UK from St. Petersburg where Olya [now drummer in The Underground Youth] and I had just got married.

    Olya had to stay in Russia to finalise her paperwork before we would move into our first home together in Manchester. It was a difficult time, being apart after just getting married, and so I distracted myself by working on these songs that would become the Low Slow Needle EP. It was sort of my love letter to that period, looking back and also looking to the future. I worked closely with mine and Olya's friend in St. Petersburg, Daria Xenofontova, who gave her beautiful voice to my words and featured on three of the most popular songs on the EP, 'Midnight Lust', 'Addiction' and 'Blue'. These three songs still remain popular with our fans, who still request we play them live to this day.” When compared with the cinematic folk-noir heard on the band’s tenth album, the newly-released ‘The Falling’ (2021), what we find here captures a more stark and stripped-back The Underground Youth as the project was about to come out of its embryonic phase: “All five tracks were recorded in my bedroom and I really wanted to strip back the sound, to give a romantic feel of that period for me. To consider it 10 years on, it feels like the beginning to the next step of the journey, my life in Manchester with Olya, making contact with Casper at Fuzz Club and signing up with the label (this came just after the release of Low Slow Needle) and us putting together the first incarnation of TUY's live band (again this followed the release of the EP). So, in a way, this record marked the end of the first era of The Underground Youth, and in doing so, paved the way for the next.”

    TRACK LISTING

    1) Midnight Lust
    2) On Your Screen
    3) Addiction
    4) Blue
    5) Witchcraft

    Slow Club

    Christmas, Thanks For Nothing EP

      It is often the case with popular music that those recordings which have the most profound impact and long-term appeal are often the ones which are produced in a moment without much deliberation or agenda. And that has certainly been the case with Slow Club’s EP of Christmas songs.

      The first single from the E.P, Christmas TV, was actually written in soundcheck at Birmingham Barfly and released as a free download for Christmas 2008. The rest of the EP was written and recorded in a short burst in late summer 2009 at Axis Studios in Sheffield and in their friend’s bedroom. It came at a moment of intense creativity for the band when the songs were coming thick and fast and the duo were really hitting their stride. The differing musical styles of the pair was already becoming apparent across the three original compositions and three covers, and there is a real sense of a band pushing their limits in a way which would coalesce in the recording of their breakthrough second album the following year.

      The E.P was released on 14th December 2009 and on 17th December they played London’s Union Chapel. The show was a huge success and quickly became a much-loved Christmas institution which endured right up to 2016 when the band played their last one before taking a hiatus to pursue solo projects. Of the EP songs it’s Christmas TV more than any other that has seeped into the cultural Christmas soundtrack and has taken on a life beyond the context of the E.P and its creators.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. All Alone At Christmas
      2. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
      3. It's Christmas And You're Boring Me
      4. Christmas, Thanks For Nothing
      5. Silent Night

      The Slow Readers Club

      The Joy Of The Return

        Manchester’s The Slow Readers Club return with their fourth album, The Joy Of The Return. Opening to an energetic blend of driving drums and infectious guitar lines, the opening track builds through evocative verses and anthemic choruses, imbued with their idiosyncratic brand of insightful and confronting lyricism and set against relentlessly danceable and energy-provoking instrumentation. “‘All I Hear’ is about a lack of agency and an inability to affect change. That there’s something happening, and you have no choice but to go along with it,” explains singer Aaron Starkie.

        Throughout the album, the band explore a vast swathe of sonic territory, from the passionately delivered ‘All The Idols’, to the poppier tones of ‘Jericho’ that power through with bright indie guitar lines and ethereally melodic choruses.  Recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and produced by long-standing collaborator Phil Bulleyment, The Joy Of The Return marks a significant change in the band’s process, with their extensive touring allowing them time to write and develop tracks and arrangements through soundchecks and back-of-van jams.

        “I think it’s definitely our most interesting and accomplished record musically,” says singer Aaron Starkie. “Lyrically the album covers love, alienation, the rise of right wing populism and comments on algorithm driven propaganda. And as always, I try to deliver those lyrics with uplifting melody.”

        The dark power-pop that defined their previous releases holds a strong influence, with the brooding ‘No Surprise’ providing a powerful dose of evocative lyricism amid immersive soundscapes, while the unsettling ‘Paris’ is an undulating exploration of observational songwriting and eclectic musicality The swelling, arena-sized ‘Zero Hour’ displays the enormity of The Slow Readers Club sound and sets the precedent for their incredibly exciting future, while ‘The Wait’ closes the album with a beautifully absorptive combination of atmospheric synths flipping the pace of the record on its head to intoxicating effect.


        TRACK LISTING

        Side A
        1. All I Hear
        2. Something Missing
        3. Problem Child
        4. Jericho
        5. No Surprise
        6. Paris

        Side B
        1. Killing Me
        2. All The Idols
        3. Every Word
        4. Zero Hour
        5. The Wait

        The Slow Readers Club

        Live At The Apollo

          2019 has seen the band complete a mammoth 32 date UK tour, ending in an epic finale in Manchester’s intimate Gorilla venue, which sold out in a matter of minutes. The Slow Readers Club also performed at a number of UK festivals including a main stage appearance at Neighbourhood Weekender in Victoria Park, Warrington on May 26th alongside their fellow Northern contemporaries Richard Ashcroft and The Charlatans. But more excitingly for the band was their first ever European headline tour which included 15 dates across Europe before they hit Madrid in July for Mad Cool Festival.

          “We’ve had plenty of fans making contact asking us to play all over Europe, so it’s great to finally be able to do so,” says singer Aaron Starkie. "We had a great response at a few European festivals last year (Reeperbahn, Kaltern pop and Haldern pop) so we're looking forward to getting back out there to build on that”. Following their Summer festival slots the band will close out the year with a string of December shows, including two massive, sold out hometown gigs at O2 Ritz Manchester.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Lunatic (Live At The Apollo)
          2. Fool For Your Philosophy (Live At The Apollo)
          3. Supernatural (Live At The Apollo)
          4. Sirens (Live At The Apollo)
          5. Never Said I Was The Only One (Live At The Apollo)
          6. Start Again (Live At The Apollo)
          7. Through The Shadows (Live At The Apollo)
          8. Lives Never Known (Live At The Apollo)
          9. One More Minute (Live At The Apollo)
          10. You Open Up My Heart (Live At The Apollo)
          11. Plant The Seed (Live At The Apollo)
          12. Lost Boys (Live At The Apollo)
          13. Not Afraid Of The Dark (Live At The Apollo)
          14. Cavalcade (Live At The Apollo)
          15. Block Out The Sun (Live At The Apollo)
          16. Feet On Fire (Live At The Apollo)
          17. Forever In Your Debt (Live At The Apollo)
          18. Lost In Your Gaze (Live At The Apollo)
          19. I Saw A Ghost (Live At The Apollo)
          20. On The TV (Live At The Apollo)

          Slow Club

          One Day All Of This Won't Matter Any More

            How do you keep a band interesting after ten years? It’s a question Slow Club’s Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor must have asked themselves as they started work on their fourth album.The answer seems to be producer Matthew E. White, the master of Southern-gothic folk, whose in-house band at Richmond’s Spacebomb Studios provided the consistency and tone the album required. Almost every track was played live in the studio, allowing the long-established session band’s natural chemistry to augment Charles and Rebecca’s, with the double advantage of recording being very effective, and also comparatively quick.

            One Day…. contains some of the best melodies they’ve yet created. The duo’s knack for writing hooks and melody has, if anything, become stronger. There are choruses here you instantly feel you’ve known your whole life, like ‘Ancient Rolling Seas’ timeless, reassuring refrain of “I’ll always be by your side”, or ‘Champion’’s Dolly Parton via-Linda Ronstadt anthem of self-celebration through the darkest times. Perhaps best of all are a pair of songs to be found at the top of what traditionalists would call “side 2”- ‘Rebecca Casanova’, a slice of widescreen, four-to-the-floor pop that recalls soft-rock giants Fleetwood Mac in the way it channels heartbreak onto the dancefloor, and ‘Tattoo Of The King’, a tale that takes Neil Young and the Doobie Brothers to the disco.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Chemistry like this doesn't come along every day. It is clear from the offset that Slow Club work on another level of understanding : there is a warmth and subdued energy to all of these pieces that demonstrate how important that understanding is. 'In Waves' is assured Southern country of the highest order while 'Sweetest Grape On The Vine' could easily have some of the best close vocal harmonies i've heard for a long time. 'Rebecca Casanova' is perfectly stripped-back yet sounds surprisingly complete. Intoxicating and mesmerising songs with strikingly effective production. A triumphant return for Slow Club.

            Slow Club

            Complete Surrender

              Since forming in Sheffield in 2006, Slow Club have released two EPs and two albums, each showcasing different and distinct facets of their musical DNA. While most bands seem happy to rest on their laurels, afraid to push their sound forward, multi-instrumentalists Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson, for it is they, get a bit bored of recreating the same things over and over.

              So while their debut album, 2009's Yeah So, was a beautifully ramshackle collection of country and folk-tinged strumalongs, 2011's more experimental Paradise pushed and pulled the band into myriad new musical directions. But nothing can quite prepare you for the quantum leap that takes place on their beautifully epic forthcoming third album, Complete Surrender.

              Recorded with producer Colin Elliot, who's previously helped create an equally widescreen sound on albums by Richard Hawley, Complete Surrender touches on everything from Motown and the output of Memphis' Stax Records to the immaculately produced pop of the 1970s, via Frankie Valli and David Bowie.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Tears Of Joy
              2. Everything Is New
              3. Suffering You, Suffering Me
              4. Not Mine To Love
              5. The Pieces
              6. Number One
              7. The Queen's Nose
              8. Complete Surrender
              9. Paraguay And Panama
              10. Dependable People And Things That I'm Sure Of
              11. Wanderer Wandering

              Slow Club

              Paradise

                Paradise bears the touch of a songwriting unit who share and divide. Songs begin and end with Rebecca and Charles swapping verses, even when the song itself is deeply personal to one of them. On Never Look Back, which bubbles into existence with cooing two-part harmony, Charles delivers the startling lines: “Baby brother in the next room, trying to bring him back to life”. It sees the 23 year-old singer recalling a dream in which an imaginary brother lays dying in the next room. On forthcoming single Two Cousins, Rebecca imagines that life is simply a journey which ends in our return to childhood when we die. “Hold on to where you’re from, it’s where you heart goes when you’re done”. Gold Mountain drifts languidly, like the lonely walk home after a drunken night out. It is, in fact, yet another song in which the bittersweet melody belies the arresting theme at the heart of the lyrics- “They have found, when life is pouring out, you are the only one that counts-“ Earth and Ash is about Rebecca’s closeness to her granddad, and her underlying fear about what will happen when he dies. “I've not played him the song, he wouldn't get it,” says Rebecca, “He always says (adopting a gruff Sheffield accent): 'why can't you play one of them Eva Cassidy songs? Or something by Joni Mitchell?'”, so I can't imagine a song about him dying is the introduction to Slow Club he really needs.”



                Slow Club’s currency is songwriting which sees romance in the unlikeliest of corners, and Paradise applies a lighter, more honed lyrical touch to telling their story. More than anything, Paradise is a platform for Slow Club’s mordant Englishness at its best, displaying a restraint and self-deprecating wit even in the darkest of sentiments.



                TRACK LISTING

                1. Two Cousins
                2. If We’re Still Alive
                3. Never Look Back
                4. Where I’m Waking
                5. Hackney Marsh
                6. Beginners
                7. You, Earth Or Ash
                8. Gold Mountain
                9. The Dog
                10. Horses Jumping


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