Live at Brudenell Social Club on Tuesday, 29th September 2009
Local Leeds indie lads Yonderboy kick started the evening with their energetic offering of yearning pop-rock that falls somewhere between the Maccabees and Morrissey. Every boy and girl within a five mile radius wearing a plaid shirt and sprayed on jeans were still noisily piling in, but Yonderboy were forceful and catchy with a mix of power-thrash guitar riffs and slower, more introspective lamentations, which earned them more attentive listeners than you might expect from the first band of the night.
Cate Le Bon positioned herself at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Just one woman, one guitar, one all in one black jump suit, and a truly beautiful collection of songs. Le Bon's Welsh loveliness really changed the atmosphere of the room: it was now close, intimate; exactly the kind of familial warmth that Slow Club thrive on with their brand of school-playground modern adolescent nursery rhymes.
Slow Club really make the effort to make you feel like you're out watching your two best mates up on stage, or your brother and sister even. This communal, 'we are a family and we all love each other' spirit was superbly entered into when, expecting to see Slow Club appear on stage any second, after the chatter ceased because people realised what was going on, you heard a faint strumming coming right from the middle of the room. Rebecca Taylor and Charlie Watson emerge, guitars in hand and their sweet, un-microphoned voices managing to make themselves heard above the now silenced crowd.
Triumphantly launching straight into 'It Doesn't Have To Be Beautiful' once on stage, Slow Club proved why they've managed to win so many fans with their album 'Yeah So'. Blending blue-grass country with pop, and soft-rock, Slow Club managed to sugar-coat everything they do with a charming cuteness.
Their boy-girl vocal balance sounds as good live as it does on record and Taylor in particular showed herself to be more than capable of taking tricky high notes completely in her stride. 'Sorry About The Doom' and 'I was Unconscious, It Was A Dream' were both delivered with particular heart warming fuzziness; the pair showing that they can do slow sentimentality as well as they can do hand-clapping mischievous frivolity.
Speaking of which, 'Giving Up On Love' was a particular highlight with new best mate Cate Le Bon joining Taylor and Watson on stage, along with effectively a stage invading collective of people bouncing around in the background. This moment seemed to capture everything that Slow Club are about: that being young, and being young in love, is completely crap and quite often hilarious, and brutal, but we're all in this together so let's just enjoy it while it lasts and have a ball.
The night ended with Slow Club directing all of us into the smokers' area outside, where they mounted the wooden benches and ended as they began with a delightful serenade of acoustic, magnetising, honeycombed niceness. There was a definite skip in the step of those making the walk back from the Brudenell Social Club to the student dens of Hyde Park.
Leeds-based Indie-pop combo