Slow Club’s Christmas shows have been a yearly tradition since 2008. Now in its 5th year these shows have always been the highlight of the festive period (Emmy The Great + Tim Wheeler are now rivalling them now). After 4 years of playing one show during the Xmas week Slow Club announced that they would be embarking on a Christmas tour. However the spiritual home of the Union Chapel was not the choice of venue for the London date. Instead it was Camden’s Koko which was the new location for this Christmas spectacular. It is always a great shame when something like this takes place in a brand new location. For starters the intimate feeling goes and that was the main reason I did not book for the Koko. A date at The Haunt was announced so knowing that venue has a capacity of just 350 people I immediately booked. The day came and I arrived at the venue at 5.30pm. I could of arrived even later as I was the only one there until the doors opened at 7pm. The first band Babe were on at 8pm then followed by The Voluntary Butler Scheme 30 mins later. The headline set kicked off at 9.30pm.
“Hello Brighton. We’re Slow Club. This is Charles. We’re going to sing a song, if you know it just sing along” Rebecca Taylor said before they opened up with something from the début album Yeah So and this being It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful. I hadn’t heard played live since 2009. What made this even more incredible was the fact it was an a capella with both Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor sharing the same microphone. Whereas the version on the CD is a full pace romp this a capella version was an infectious tune which had been slowed down greatly. It was then onto another track from the début album which also featured on the début EP Let’s Fall Back In Love back in 2008. Dance ‘Til The Morning Light. This was a mellowing track which was played at a steady pace. Charles sang the majority while Rebecca harmonised. It was a pleasure to hear this played live again. “Alright, who feels like dancing? Or are you too tired?” Taylor then said before something from the new album Paradise and this being If We’re Still Alive. This song packed a punch and this infectious song was extremely up-tempo. You could feel plenty of energy oozing from it. “Thanks for coming. Who was here last time when we were here? I felt like Cheryl Cole last time so lets try and recreate that” Rebecca said before Charles said he felt like he was going to throw up moments before they came onstage. It was then onto something from Paradise and this being Never Look Back. This was a nice chilled out song and there was a slow pace which picked up nearer the end. The parts Rebecca sang were belted out. Horses Jumping followed on straight away. Charles sung the majority of this song with Rebecca harmonising towards the end. This was a gentle tune and quiet at the same time. “Alright Brighton, lets all scream together” Taylor then said before her song Beginners. Rebecca took to the electric guitar and I found this number to be rather up-tempo/ infectious at the same time. Beginners was actually very hypnotising and it is my favourite Slow Club track from Paradise. The rest of the band were then introduced before something brand spanking new. “Who wants to here a new song, well we’ll play one” Taylor said before The Queens Nose. This was very chilled out and Rebecca took the lead for this one. Her vocals were so powerful which made this song incredible. I look forward to hearing the studio version of this because I was literally blown away when hearing it live. Straight it was into Where I’m Waking. The verses were shared between Charles and Rebecca. This song was extremely infectious and oozed plenty of energy. My favourite part had to be the middle 8. Charles took the lead for Everything Is New with Rebecca harmonising. This song was delivered at a steady pace and had some brilliant lyrics. “Is everyone having a nice time?” Watson then said to plenty of applause. “Me to” was then his reply. What was next was another new tune which I in fact heard for the 1st time at The Haunt earlier this year. The song in question being Not Mine To Love. The song was mainly sung by Taylor. It greatly impressed me and was mesmerising at the same time. Not Mine To Love sounded slightly soulful and its lyrics were sublime. It was then onto another brand new song that I hadn’t heard before. This being Waterfalls and it was very similar to Everything Is New as Charles’s vocals are prominent throughout. Rebecca superbly harmonises during this steady paced track. Waterfalls had been excellently written and it makes me hope that this song does get recorded to feature on the next Slow Club release.
Hackney Marsh was mellowing and sung by both Watson and Taylor. What stole this song was the epic sax solo by Steve “Sweet Baboo” Black. “We’ve got a couple more songs left” Charles then mentioned to the audience before introducing the next song being Two Cousins. This song was really catchy and you’re captivated from the very start. Also it was very upbeat. You could have a good boogie to this tune. “This is our last song” Taylor then said before urging everyone to mosh. This was Giving Up On Love which was a high octane tune which was energetic and it had bundles of energy oozing from it. I really liked the infectious lyrics. The band then leave the stage only to return moments later for the Christmas segment of the show. All three songs were taken from the Christmas, Thanks For Nothing EP. The first being a Darlene Love cover of All Alone On Christmas. This was Charles’s song on the EP and what they performed felt like a busk as there was no microphones whatsoever. This makes it extra special but a pain for people right at the back. Being at the front this Christmas song sounded spectacular and spellbinding. The harmonising was spot on as well and also Steven Black played some sax during this tune. “Thanks for coming everyone. This is one of our last gigs of the year” Watson then said before mentioning that they had some Christmas screen prints made especially for the December tour. Christmas TV was strong and the lyrics were fantastic. I remember back in 2009 when they changed the It’s Brutal line to It’s Rudolph during The Enterprise show. At the very end every one was chanting along to the line “Just come on home”. “I’ve had so much fun” Taylor said before inviting the 2 support bands onto the stage for the closing tune of this spectacular night and this being Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). “Who’s ready to have a boogie” Rebecca said before they launched into this Darlene Love cover. I found this tune to be rather infectious and they were having so much fun singing it.
It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful
Dance ‘Til The Morning Light
If We’re Still Alive
Never Look Back
The Queens Nose
Where I’m Waking
Not Mine To Love
Giving Up On Love
All Alone On Christmas
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
OVERALL: Slow Club at Christmas is an annual tradition and I hope that it still happens every single December. My time at The Haunt was amazing and the new songs were extraordinary. It makes me look forward to the next Slow Club release. I really hope that The Queens Nose and Waterfalls are recorded in the studio. I remember songs like Rotten Mouth and Don’t Meet Any More But Me have never been recorded. Still the tunes that were performed were tremendous and it was nice hearing It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful as an a capella. Once over I hung round at the back and I finally found out what is happening with the EP that was supposed to be out this year. The answer was that they will save the new material and will put it on the 3rd LP.