Monday, March 5, 2012

Slow Club - The Workers Club

So this is a very special post, because not only is it about one of my most favourite bands, whose song 'Because We're Dead' is also the namesake of this here blog, but it's also my 200th post! How fitting for it to be about a Slow Club gig! Hooray for happy coincidences! Although my readership is very small, I would like to thank each and every one of you lovely people who have taken the time to peruse through my ramblings, and I hope you have taken away something positive from the whole experience.

Anyway, to Slow Club. I was very much looking forward to this gig, because as I'm sure I've already mentioned, I really do love this band. This was also the first gig that me and Lovely ever went to together, back before I could even call him Lovely. Needless to say, there are lots of happy memories tied to this band, and if we ever break up I don't think I'll be able to listen to them ever again (there's an insurance policy for you, dear!).

There is something completely infectious about Slow Club's music, and of course I mean this in a good, non cholera type way. Songs like 'Because We're Dead', 'It Doesn't Always Have to Be Beautiful' and 'Our Most Brilliant Friends' are the ones I think of when I want some bone shaking dance party flailing numbers, but it's the slower, more melancholy songs with their subtle bitter sweetness, that are going to crawl beneath your skin and stay with you for hours. Songs like 'Gold Mountain', 'Never Look Back' 'Sorry About the Doom' and 'Horses Jumping'. These songs creep up on me and break into my thoughts so easily, until I find myself thinking about them for hours. And really, how often do you really think about songs? I don't mean having the words or the melody just running through your head, actually thinking about the songs themselves, what they mean and what you see in your head when you hear them.
I think this is because their lyrics are sharp and clever, yet they are also sincere and heartfelt, which is often very difficult to achieve (it is in poetry anyway). And I just adore boy/girl harmonies, so each song just feels just so exquisite to me.

The gig itself was a lot of fun; Lovely and I ended up running into a couple of friends of ours, who were also, coincidently, Slow Club fans. The first support was, well, we didn't stick around to catch their name or many of their songs, which I think says enough about them.
The second support, however, was more than a pleasant surprise! The Harpoons consisted three guys and one girl, playing very catchy tunes and haunting love ballad/ laments that could have been written sixty or so years ago. What I loved about them was that every single person in the band sang in almost every song, and their harmonies were really great (yay more boy/girl harmonies!). The girl's voice was exceptionally powerful, you could feel it commanding everyone’s attention, which I suppose is the main challenge of any support act. We liked them so much that Lovely bought their EP on the way out, and I am very much looking forward to listening to it.

As for Slow Club, well, let's just say that the expectations I had gathered from seeing them at the Empress two or so years ago (a venue about a quarter of the size of the Workers Club, mind you), were blown out from the get go. For one thing there was not just one but two drum kits, one full one and to the side for Rebecca, and two extra members had be added to the band.
The lights went down and Charles came out, followed closely by Rebecca, who was wearing a long South American style poncho (I'm always a fan of her outfit choices), and they preceded to open with an acoustic cover of 'Disco 2000' by Pulp. They then launched into "Where I'm Waking', one of those bone-shaking songs I was talking about earlier. They ripped it apart, but instead of the blood and the guts of the song falling out all over the stage, I like to imagine there being explosions of confetti, because that's how it made me feel. The fast songs were big and loud and passionate, without being obnoxious or over the top, and the slow songs would swell to be big and loud and passionate too, in a way that made your heart want to break, rather than jump out your chest onto the stage.

There was such a good vibe running throughout the whole band, everyone looked like they were having so much fun, especially Charles and Rebecca. An example of this would that after the saxophone solo during Hackney Marsh, Rebecca announced that it was in fact said saxophone players birthday; they then broke out of the song to sing him Happy Birthday, and presented him with a cake and candles to blow out. When this was done they had to go back into Hackney Marsh, which is not one of the upbeat songs, and poor Rebecca was overcome by fits of giggles for the rest of it. This happened to her a couple of times towards the end, but it was so freaking adorable I don't think anyone could care. At this point I would like to add that Rebecca is SUCH a babe, and although I don't like using the word lady-boner, because it throws up all kinds of weird visuals, it seems most appropriate in this case.

Highlights: GOLD MOUNTAIN! As the first song of the encore, they came out and sang it completely acoustic and unplugged, no mics, no band, just them. It was such a beautiful moment.
Two Cousins, Giving Up on Love, Where I'm Waking, Hackney Marsh, Horses Jumping, Our Most Brilliant Friends, and whatever the second of the two new songs they played was called. Sadly, there weren't too many of their songs from Yeah, So? on the set list, so no Because We're Dead, or Christmas TV, but I can't really complain because I still left the Workers Club feeling like someone had dosed me up on a heap of caffeine and I was never, ever going to come down.

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