Slow Club @ The House Of St Barnabas 17th April 2013

Taking place at the chapel at The House Of St Barnabas was something extremely special. This evening was hosted by Turner Prize winner Martin Creed and it was headlined by the one and only Slow Club. Now this wasn’t any old set and Charles and Rebecca went back to basics and it was just the 2 of them that performed. When I got to the chapel there were cushions all across the floor and seats to either side. I then decided to sit down on the floor o witness a extraordinary set by Sweet Baboo (his set intrigued me to want to hear more. He also has an album coming out called Ships later on in April) and a bizarre set by Martin Creed (who would of thought songs so short would sound so good). Now Slow Club was the reason I was in attendance and I was excited when they both took to chairs to perform an enchanting set of new and old songs.

“Hello, Is everyone OK? You’re all very polite. We’re Slow Club 2 of. We’ve not done this for about 2 years just playing the 2 of us. I’m really nervous. How are you Charles” Rebecca then mentioned to the audience. “I’m nervous too” was Charles’s reply. “So we’re both really nervous and we’re playing a mixture of old songs and brand new songs. Therefore we don’t really know them. So we’ll probably make mistakes. But you come to expect that from us” Rebecca Taylor then went onto say. Opening the set up was a tune that Charles Watson wrote in 2007. “I didn’t write any songs. I just played a lot of Xbox” Watson then said before they both launched into Wild Blue Milk. It was a while since I last heard this performed live (2010 if I remember correctly). They both eased through this without a hitch. There was a folk vibe to it and both Charles’s and Rebecca’s vocals geld together to create something sweet sounding. Taylor then introduced the next number of the set as Not Mine To Love. This was a solo Rebecca song which actually gets me excited about the prospect of a brand new Slow Club album in 2014. There was a soulful vibe to it and the lyrics had been perfectly crafted resulting in something entrancing. Even though Rebecca sings the entire song Charles played the guitar. Once over it was then onto a brand new song which was mainly sung by Charles Watson. This was Paraguay And Panama and it was packed with plenty of promise. There was a strong folk vibe and the vocals were spotless. It was short but sweet and I definitely would like to hear the studio recording. “Tonight is the first gig we’ve ever used keyboards in 6 ½ years” Charles Watson then said to the audience. “Well neither of us can play the keyboard that’s why” Rebecca then quipped back. “This is the one I’m most nervous about. The title of the song is a swearword in it, so I assume I can’t say it. So it’s also a hilarious name for a song cos it’s called Effing Feelings. Isn’t that funny though cos they are, they are annoying aren’t they feelings” Rebecca Taylor said before telling everyone she didn’t think it will go well. The song in question being Fucking Feelings and the reason why she didn’t feel as optimistic was the fact that she was using a keyboard. Still this new song was again another Rebecca solo and it was very hypnotising. Despite the song focussing on a depressing subject (feelings) Taylor delivered it ever so beautifully. She sailed through this and there were no duff notes whatsoever. Once she had delivered this song Rebecca played a snippet of Chopsticks on the keyboard.

“The idea for this next song is if Marvin Gaye grew up in Rotherham” Watson then said to plenty of sniggers. Tears Of Joy was up next and Charles said to Rebecca that this better make the new record. Both Taylor and Watson sang this smooth song which sounded sublime. The pace was steady and the lyrics were superb.

“This song has a really over the top title. This song’s called Dependable People And The Things That I Am Sure Of but it makes sound like such an asshole. It’s a meandering horrible just like squelchy horribe song about how I feel” Taylor then said before the penultimate new song of the evening. Dependable People And The Things That I Am Sure Of may sound like a mouthful to say but songs from Yeah So also had tracks with long titles. This tune was mellowing even though it was slightly mushy. This was a spectacular song which had a dash of emotion. This song MUST feature on the 3rd LP. What then followed was an oldie and this being Hackney Marsh which featured on the Paradise album. This tune was mellowing but was overshadowed by the saxophone solo by Saxophone Steve. It was then onto Charles Watson’s attempt at playing the keyboard for Wanderer Wondering. Watson sang the verses then Rebecca came in for the upbeat and infectious chorus. “It’s been dead special for Charles and I. We might do it again now. Probably not” Taylor said before inviting Avvon Chambers and Saxophone Steve to the stage. The Dog was the name of the car that they use. This car got crushed in the end. Rebecca called it the most poignant song Charles had written. So this beautiful song was telling the story of this car. “I didn’t know it was that sad” Rebecca said when Charles mentioned that he was going to insure it but his parents crushed it. The lyrics were extraordinary and you can clearly imagine the story of The Dog.

SET LIST

Wild Blue Milk
Not Mine To Love
Paraguay And Panama
Fucking Feelings
Tears Of Joy
Dependable People And The Things That I Am Sure Of
Hackney Marsh
Wanderer Wondering
The Dog

OVERALL: This was one special Slow Club headline event and it is one that I was pleased that I attended. I remember tickets to the show had sold out but a few more were placed on sale so I snapped one up.

I have seen Slow Club many times over the past 6 years but this show is in the top 5 Slow Club gigs. The acoustics in the chapel were extraordinary and it was wonderful to experience a stripped back set with just the 2 of them. Yes the shows at Union Chapel at Christmas were special but this had an extra something.

The new songs were fantastic and Rebecca’s banter was simply classic.

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