Slow Club live in London
- Dec 20, 2012
Christmas is here and it’s in abundance over at Koko for Slow Club’s festive performance. After a small, almost catastrophic, Crunchie bar incident on the way into the venue (who knew you're not allowed to eat coco in Koko!?) I was in the middle of traditional Christmas dream with the soothing sounds of the Becontree Brass Band. Shouldn't all gigs start like this? An act out of the ordinary kick-starting the evening.
Second up was Rozi Plain. I've had the pleasure of seeing her previously at an infinitely smaller venue, so it was pleasing to see Plain and her six piece band, including a tambourine player hidden in the shadows, filling the Koko stage. Plain's delicate, mesmerising set ended with 'Sides', a subtle invitation to raise your hands like a flock of birds tweeting to the music, it may have taken a few choruses for the audience to get into it but they let themselves loose in the end.
Slow Club headlined the night with an extensive set comprising songs old, new and, most notably, Christmasy. The audience fell silent and melancholic during 'All alone at Christmas', I even had to sniff back a tiny tear. Not having seen them before I was pleasantly surprised to see the band’s quieter duets being greeted with verve equal to the uplifting likes of 'Two cousins' and 'If We're Still Alive'. With much delight from the crowd, during 'Hackney Marsh', the band’s saxophonist mounted a Koko audience box and proceeded to played his solo in the manner of George Michael's 'Careless Whisper' - YouTube Sexy Saxophonist anyone?
Although not overly conversational, their stage presence was both amusing and cute. If pushed for a criticism, it would be the at times formulaic approach taken to newer material. While still resulting in some impressive songs, it marks a departure from the band's modern sound into the remit of Mo Town.
Having said that, Slow Club at Christmas must be the perfect antidote to any festive blues. I found myself leaving Koko all but ready for Christmas day and keen to invest some more time in Slow Club’s back catalogue. Although that didn't stretch to shuffling past the merchandise stand and buying a tea-towel, sorry. #bizarreChristmasMerch.
By Ben Byford