Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Slow Club – Union Chapel, 23/12/10

02 January 2011, 19:43 | Written by

This time last year, Union Chapel was pretty full for Slow Club’s end of year show. This year, it’s absolutely heaving, and there’s even ticket touts outside. One constant though, as always with Union Chapel, is the sub-zero temperatures. Still, stick a Santa hat on it and we’ll call it festive.

Opening to an already hefty sized congregation this evening is Sweet Baboo. With a penchant in lo-fi acoustic twee love songs about maths and running away, tonight’s beefed up three piece band buoy his delicate songs in the echoey venue.

Moshi Moshi stalwarts The Wave Pictures take to the stage a little before 8.30pm, looking not-so-fresh after a snow-hampered journey back from Italy. And it seems white stuff fatigue has taken its toll, as they perform a somewhat lacklustre set that – whilst undoubtedly having its heart in the right place – does little to fill the space with happy noise and Christmas cheer. The band seem to be struggling through and some bizarre line-up swaps do nothing to win the audience over. ‘Susan and the Cyclone’ is musically the most accomplished track, but the sheer length of it does little to help the laborious feel of their performance. No doubt that they were simply the victims of circumstance, but it’s a shame The Wave Pictures didn’t pull off their usual standards this evening.

Whilst they didn’t have to battle through Europe to get to their gig, there was a still a question mark over whether Slow Club would be feeling a little tired too. Eighteen months after their debut album Yeah, So? was released, and with a year of almost constant touring, it’s a substantiated speculation that their set list might be looking a little samey. But with album number two slated in for release early next year, new material was rife. The new tracks showed a slight departure from the more whimsical sounds of their debut, with Rebecca seemingly finally realising what a powerful set of lungs she has on her, and a belter of a voice to boot. The band seem keen to put to bed their earlier, more rickety rackety tracks, introducing ‘Giving Up On Love’ by bluntly saying they’re fed up on playing it. Charles and Rebecca are also joined by a full band on several songs, making a nice contrast to their duo numbers, and giving a new lease of live to album favourites.

There’s a distinct lack of Christmas songs, right up until the encore, where one of the finest Christmas songs of recent years gets an outing – the simultaneously heartbreaking and massively lovely ‘Christmas TV’. After some rabble rousing from Rebecca the audience are on their feet for a cheeky sing-a-long, and the similarly themed ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

A slightly more subdued affair than last year, but also a tighter, less shambolic performance from a band who are poised for another flourishing year – and who knows what venue they’ll be playing in this time next year?

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