LIVE REVIEW The Slow Readers Club: O2 Ritz, Manchester by Louder Than War
Written by Nigel Carr, photos by Paul Husband
Dressed all in black, they open with Cavalcade off the album of the same name released earlier this year. It’s a full-on, dense, riff driven mesh with lead singer Aaron Starkie’s beautiful vocals soaring over the top. He’s a humble front man with the voice of an angel, falling somewhere between Yes’s Jon Anderson and Brandon Flowers. Forceful in parts but sweet and delicate when it needs to be. He has this amazing ability to fly up to falsetto and back down again in an instant.
The band describe themselves as ‘dark and brooding electro indie’ but it’s much brighter and more commercial than that. There are guitar parts remind me of early U2 combined with driving rhythms and infectious Killers style melodies underpinned by an electronic wash. The whole effect, a heady mix that you can lose yourself in. The audience responds accordingly, arms aloft feeling the music and singing along, clearly loving every moment.
I love the way that Aaron responds to the adoration being directed at him from the auditorium, marching in front of the mic. arm held high as if in salute. They clearly know what to expect and the band delivers, track after track.
It’s a cracking gig and I head off in to the cold Manchester night wondering why a band this good isn’t, well, huge…