Manchester four-piece The Slow Readers Club have been busy making a big name for themselves with their own brand of indie electro, selling out venues the length and breadth of the country.
Band members Aaron Starkie (lead singer), Kurtis Starkie (guitar), James Ryan (bass) & David Whitworth (drums) have watched their fanbase grow and grow and are ready to take things to the next level with the announcement of their Winter tour of the UK, that also includes two huge gigs at the Ritz in their home city.
We caught up with James from the group to talk about their music and other musings. Let’s Meet the Band.
Tell us about the road you took into music?
My mam used to listen to loads of old Motown tunes when I was a young kid, whereas my dad listened to new romantic stuff. I love the bass in those genres, but it was my brother who taught himself to play the guitar when we were kids and I just wanted to copy him, so I used to use his when he wasn’t playing it. Years later I bought a bass with my first student loan and the rest is history.
What are your prime musical ambitions?
We just want to get our music listened to by as many people as possible and hope that the number of people at our shows keeps increasing.
What would you be doing right now if you hadn’t gotten a career in music?
Trying to get a career in music.
What’s your least favourite instrument?
It’s a weird one this but probably the cowbell. What’s mad is I love it in songs where it’s suited but in our stuff, it would stand out like a sore thumb so I’d go for that.
Ok, you’re hosting a meal for three guests – then can be famous, friends, dead, alive, whatever – who are they?
John F Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.
Your stranded on an island, you only have one album. Which is it?
I’d have to say, The Best Of The Beatles.
Who’s the one person you call in a crisis?
Batman. We know him.
What’s your musical ‘guilty pleasure’?
The tune ‘Rock Me Amadeus by Falco’. The other lads in the band hate it!
If you could collaborate with any musician alive or dead who would it be?
Probably Nile Rogers or Daft Punk. It’s mad how many tunes I’ve listened to and loved, then found out that neither of them have been involved in them.
What fruit or vegetable do you associate with most?
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I don’t want to answer personally because I’ll risk embarrassing the band so I’ll say The Slow Readers Club at the Apollo Manchester. It’s absolutely fu**in’ crazy when I think about where we’ve come from to get to that stage. We don’t plan on stopping there either.
Tell us about the worst gig you’ve played…
There are a few from back in the day where we played to just the bar staff. That doesn’t mean we don’t like the bar staff but travelling up to Middlesbrough after a day at work to play a gig in a pub to no more than 5 people then travelling all the way home, unloading our gear then getting home knowing you’re back in work the next day.
That’s hard to take but we just blitzed through it because we believed that eventually, it would pay off.
How much does the environment around you affect your music?
Loads. Our music is quite dark lyrically and we tend to play a lot of minor chords musically so I think growing up in Manchester has something to do with that. I’m answering these questions in June and it’s pissing down outside so I think that says it all.
What’s your best/worst touring experience?
Best – Just visiting places we wouldn’t have probably ever been to if it wasn’t for the band. Loads of little towns and cities in the UK and Europe.
Worst – Not necessarily a “touring experience” but when we recorded the first album we finished recording for the day then got back late to our BnB where we were staying and it was all locked up. We couldn’t get in and had to sleep in our transit van. It was early February and absolutely freezing. I’m surprised that night didn’t finish us off.
What was the last book you read?
The Establishment: And how they get away with it by Owen Jones
Who’d play you lot in a film?
Robert De Niro
Tell us about the tour later this year and your feelings on the two back to back gigs on your home town.
We’re buzzing for it. Obviously, it’s not a big tour like the one we just did back in March, April and May but we’re looking forward to it just as much. There’s something about playing gigs in the winter that resonates with us. Probably the damp, cold conditions make us feel at home.
The Ritz shows are going to be off the scale. It’s a top venue but it’s not something we’d actually had in mind (to play 2 nights at the same place). The idea was put to us and we thought fu** it yeah. It makes total sense. We can’t wait and hopefully, we can play a couple of new tracks on the tour too.
Can you give us one piece of wisdom you’ve learned from your time together as a band?
Have a laugh as much as you can and if a situation happens where it’s shit you’ve just got to laugh it off and deal with it, otherwise it could finish the band off.
The Slow Readers Club are on tour around the UK in December. Tickets will be on sale Friday 14th June at 10am. Order them at: https://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk
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