A vintage clothing shop cum cafe slash bar with a gig venue, Paper Dress Vintage is one of those places that tries to be all things to all womena and men, and somehow succeeds. Slow Club are down for a four week residency, playing stripped back versions of the songs from their new album, only recorded a couple of months ago and due out this summer. Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson always entertain their crowds, the stage filled with their vibrant banter and gentle tussle of their clearly close relationship.
As always the tunes are revealing and cathartic for Taylor, and somehow as their style has become more potent and rocky and less whimsical indie folk, they’ve also become more personal to Taylor, but no less powerful to an audience. It’s been twelve years since they started out, and in that time they’ve grown up in the limelight but not lost any of the vivacity of their early days. Just as energetic and radiant, but with more grit and steel, the new songs have notes of heartbreak, depression, and tension, and in this stripped back setting there’s something very intimate about hearing them.
Confident in their identity, at least as a musical duo, the show is compelling. They eschew perfection in favour of personality, and bring the audience along with them. Witty asides never detract from brilliant songs, and the new ones are just as captivating as those more well known. As one of my favourite bands ever I always slightly fear that they might let me down – play a shit show or come across as arrogant twits. They do neither. They continue to win me over. Finally, a trio of old favourites is ushered in with a sing-a-long Tears of Joy, almost heart melting, before closing with a vibrant Two Cousins. Slow Club are back, and at the top of their game.