November 11th, 2016 at Great Scott
By: Dominic Yamarone
Slow Club, a folk rock duo from Sheffield, England, played their second US tour stop at the Great Scott on Friday November 11th. The Great Scott is a cozy little bar with a small stage that allows for a very intimate show; the performer is within earshot of anyone in the crowd which makes for some great chatting between songs.
The first opener was Jared Dickinson, a Texas native who came out with just a guitar and a lady friend. What made Jared stand out was his smooth, deep voice that drove his songs. His guitar playing switched back and forth between finger picking and sliding around between notes. The variety in his playing gave his songs life that otherwise would’ve been lacking. With just two vocalists and a guitar, his set had a minimal sound, but he was able to make good use of his resources and play a short, sweet set.
The second opener was Moon Panda, a now Seattle-based shoegaze group led by Madeline Myers. Myers is actually a Boston local and graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she started the band. They put out their first EP Waveless under the name IVES and recently made the change to Moon Panda. Their music is full of sweeping chords and filter-heavy melodies that blend together to create an immersive, dreamy soundscape. Myers has a strong voice that comes out clear above the reverb heavy guitars and crashing drums. The highlight of the set was their single “Waveless,” a deep brooding song that repeats the vocals with a mesmerizing effect. Moon Panda played a killer set, and I can’t wait to hear more music from them.
Finally, it was time for the main act, Slow Club. I had gotten the chance to talk with Charles and Rebecca over the phone about this tour and their new album the night before. Their fifth album One Day All of This Won’t Matter Anymore came out earlier this year and features great songs like “Ancient Rolling Sea” and “In Waves.” Charles had mentioned that this album is more poppy and R&B influenced than some of their older ones. Having not heard much of their music before, I thoroughly enjoyed the sound of their new album.
Now for a little bit of a story; I’ll be quick I promise. As the night of the show approached I was more and more excited about going to see Slow Club live and talking to the band the night before, everyone seemed in good spirits. Rebecca had even joined in the “Not My President” protest in New York City the day of their show there. But in the moments before the show, disaster struck. Rebecca came down with a fever and had to be taken to the ER. This left Charles to do a “Charles in Charge” solo show.
Despite being last minute, Charles was able to put on a stellar show. With the encouragement and support he played slightly stripped down versions of some of Slow Club’s best songs like, “Ancient Rolling Sea” and “Wanderer Wandering.” He mixed older songs from their collection into his set alongside favorites from the new album. Charles’ voice was able to carry all of the songs despite not always being the main vocalist. Despite missing half the band, the music sounded amazing, and with Rebecca I’m sure the music and the atmosphere would only have been better. In my opinion, the true measure of good music is being able to strip it down to its core and still have it be enjoyable. I highly recommend that anyone who has the chance go see Slow Club and definitely check out their recorded material as well.